The deal for IceMen owner Ron Geary to purchase and renovate the Owensboro SportsCenter, and bring hockey to Owensboro, is dead.
Geary notified the City of Owensboro and mayor Ron Payne of his decision in a note that was released to Evansville news media Friday afternoon.
In a news conference Friday evening, Owensboro city officials said the arena would be turned over to Spectra, a company that owns the Owensboro Convention Center, and there would be about $140,000 worth of upgrades done to the SportsCenter before basketball is played there later this Fall.
Geary’s letter announcing he will not renovate the SportsCenter is the culmination of a comedy of errors which began when he lost his lease battle with the City of Evansville, hastily moved the team to an area which has a limited hockey history, then tried to secure funding (to no avail) so he could start major renovations on a 68-year-old arena that had never housed a hockey game, thinking the team would be ready to play in said arena this October.
Again the question becomes, what will Geary do with the IceMen? Does he sell the franchise off to the Portland group, who is struggling to find investors? Or, does he try one more time to resurrect the IceMen in Louisville, a market with its own graveyard of hockey franchises?
Mum’s the word for now from Camp Geary.
Here’s hoping that he sells the IceMen and sails off into the sunset. The fiasco is as tired and played out as Flo the Progressive lady. If he really wants the franchise he built to succeed, the only real option is for him to sell it to the Portland group. It’s a strong hockey market & fanbase that came within $45,000 of keeping an American Hockey League team there long-term.
For the sake of everyone, Ron, just do it!