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.