FAYETTEVILLE, NC — Fayetteville has become quite familiar with the FireAntz hockey team over the last 15 years but on Friday, a new name was introduced. Gone are the Fayetteville FireAntz and in come the Fayetteville Marksmen, or at least in name. The hockey team is staying in Fayetteville thanks to new owner Chuck Norris and new President Jeff Longo so the team isn’t going anywhere. A new attitude and new energy has arrived with hopes to propel the Fayetteville franchise back to the glory days of packing the Crown Coliseum with weekend crowds of five to six thousand a night. The new name and logo were introduced in front of a good sized crowd at the Crown Coliseum ballroom on Friday morning.

During the 45 minute press conference, Chuck Norris spoke about his vision for Fayetteville hockey in the SPHL for years to come. Norris grew up in Detroit and talked about the memories he has as a kid of watching the Red Wings play and the smell of the popcorn. Aromas do seem to bring about distinct memories and both Norris and Longo are hoping the new name and brand will start a new aroma in Fayetteville of fun filled affordable family entertainment at the Crown Coliseum.

While the details of the agreement were not disclosed, Longo and Norris are close to finishing a 5 year agreement with the Crown Complex with a 5 year option that could keep hockey in Fayetteville for 10 years or more. There was also talk of renovations to the current 20 year old Coliseum and a member of the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners was present to talk about the ideas for the future. New locker rooms and possibly an updated scoreboard and running lights that would run from one end of the arena to the other similar to other places like the Greensboro Coliseum and PNC arena were also mentioned. Basically, a hockey team with a new name and new ownership with a new vision and new found support from the county are here, and it can only mean great things ahead for hockey fans and fans of any other events held at the Crown Coliseum.

The Fayetteville Marksmen will have a fox mascot, an animal very familiar to the community. The fox represents an intelligent, sly, yet tough creature while also being a symbol of a fluffy and cuddly animal great for a mascot that will need to cater to the kids in the community. The logo looks fierce yet cute at the same time. An “M” is placed in the middle of the forehead while two lightning bolts make up the eyebrows.

The Marksmen name seems more appropriate than FireAntz and will certainly strike a chord with the military community. While the logo is intended to resonate with the military community, it is also appropriate for hockey fans. Goal scorers are certainly known for sniping shots into the corners of the net and so the Marksmen name serves a great dual purpose.

Great things seem to be coming for the Fayetteville Marksmen and the hockey fans of the surrounding communities. While it will take time for the new brand and name to make it’s way into the community, it certainly seems by all accounts that the logo, mascot, and new team name all definitely hit the mark.

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