EPIC Indoor Sports Fails — KC ice community Move on and Rally

Kansas City ice hockey and ice skating community. You are vindicated.

EPIC Indoor Sports will close. When the one-year anniversary of the “mechanical failure” comes around on January 13 of 2012, there will be a new owner of the facility.

That’s the good news.

The bad news. Well, there really isn’t any bad news, right? However, the challenge has been made to you Kansas City ice hockey/figure skating/curling community.

YOU SHOW THE NEW OWNER YOUR COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING THE FACILITY AND THERE WILL BE ICE ONCE AGAIN.

I’m not kidding about this. The prospective new owner of the facility is not local. His focus is on basketball and volleyball. However, he is interested in learning more about the shortage of ice facilities in Kansas City. He has been made aware that this facility was viable as an ice sports facility and has not been viable since the loyal, passionate ice skating community was tossed to the curb.

It’s possible one sheet of ice could return to the facility. It’s possible both sheets could return with one of them a dual-use sheet (the concrete side). And, unfortunately, I suppose it’s possible neither will return.

At this point, it seems the Kansas City ice hockey/figure skating/curling clubs can influence the decision.

Now, I know what you are going to say, “Screw that place. They lost me as a customer forever.” Sorry, but this is the absolute wrong reaction.

The General Manager of EPIC Indoor Sports failed in his effort to re-purpose the arena. The owners are no longer willing to sink money into this failing venture and it looks like they will sell and completely wash their hands of it.

Good choice. They alienated the hockey and ice skating community to the point that the other sports, in which they tried to focus, suffered. Parents weren’t willing to patronize them. Kid #1 may play hockey, but kid #2 may play soccer and kid #3 may play lacrosse. Mom and Dad are still upset about how they treated kid #1.

It’s water under the bridge. Time to move on and rally your support.

How? Well, I don’t quite know at this time.

There needs to be one rallying point. Whether that is a hockey-playing group (the Stars or the former Kansas City Outlaws) or NHL21, in combination with the Kansas City Figure Skating Club and Kansas City Curling Club…I don’t know. The adult hockey playing community is far too fragmented for it to be the rallying point. However, we know that 32 adult hockey playing teams, who filled the facility during slow times like Sunday nights and late night on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, have been reduced to a dozen or so teams playing as late as 11 p.m. on weeknights.

I will have more on this later. I need to put my thoughts together. As the Pitch mentioned, I’m not exactly a daily blogger. I blog when I feel like it and when I have time (which is rare).

Two things are key here —
1.) Begin to rally so that the new owner knows that putting ice back down is a good investment.
2.) Remember what the new owners of KC Ice Center have done for the hockey community over the last 8 – 10 months. They are truly committed to our community. Perhaps we can begin to foster a new relationship among Johnson County rinks in which everyone is working to grow the sport — rink owners, coaches, parents and officials. Grow the category, grow your business. Hopefully, the animosity between rinks will never return.

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8 Responses to EPIC Indoor Sports Fails — KC ice community Move on and Rally

  1. Kd says:

    Good info and thanks for all of your hard work.

    Just FYI… There are over 50 adult teams playing in KC at the 3 active rinks.

  2. blogger says:

    True. Should be a clarification that the former Ice Midwest had 32 teams. Plus, at the time Ice Sports had 6, Line Creek at 14 or so and Independence had 18 or so. At one point, my guess is that there were more than 65-70+ adult teams.

  3. Matt Murray says:

    I am in. I would be the first to sign up my boy for youth ice hockey.

  4. Bill McBride says:

    I do not speak for the curling club, but as a curler, our club is committed to the facility that will give us available ice to grow the sport. With the equipment we have, we can only curl at one location.

    Pepsi was a good facility and we had 18 teams worth of curlers when they lost the ice. The new concrete floor improved the ice conditions for curling and we had high hopes as we added more equipment and looking at additional ice to add to our season

    Currently, we are curling at line creek. Many in the club comment on The ice conditions have been more consistent and better than what pepsi provided though we have lost some membership we had build around overland park. In our first year we are now starting to see new growth around the northland.

    Overall, I feel the return of 1 or 2 sheets of ice at pepsi would allow more people to return to their respective sports regardless of where the curling club chooses to make it home. Good luck and let me know if you need any help.

  5. DMA says:

    Another sheet of ice would be so great for all who participate in ice sports. I really hope that the new owners consider taking the facility back to an ice rink. There is a need and many people would be so happy to see the ice back in southern JoCo.

  6. caleb eaton says:

    The KC Speedskating club is in. The more ice the more area to grow the better keep us up to date at KCSpeedskating.org or on facebook KC Speedskating. Also Im looking for help to build a 400m track here in KC. If you have any idea how to write up business plans and look for grants please contact me at czrymtman@yahoo.com I have great ideas how to really make money on a big frozen track .. I have lived all over the country and traveled much the numbers of ice skaters in this town I always find shocking and amazing!!!

  7. Amy Elizabeth Walker says:

    I’d love to sign my 6 year old daughter up for her first group lessons at Pepsi Midwest if it was an option. For now we are trying the Kansas City Ice Center.

  8. Amy Elizabeth Walker says:

    And it’s sad enough that AMF closed down. :(

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