PORTLAND, ME – Four proposals were sent to the Board Of Trustees at the Cross Insurance Arena this week to bring hockey back to the city of Portland. Board of Trustee member Mitchell Berkowitz talked to The Sin Bin on Thursday to discuss what is next in the process to bring hockey back to Portland.
Berkowitz said the Board was enthusiastic to try to bring a formal business development environment to the decision-making process and that’s why they did the request for proposal (RFP) to begin with.
“We’re hoping to separate those who wanted to be with those who have the horsepower and I believe that the four proposals that we received by the deadline effectively speak to the point that our RFP had quite a bit of information that they had to fulfill. We think now the toughest part is going through those and determining which ones are perhaps the more favorable.” Berkowitz said.
This coming Monday, the four proposals will go under the microscope of the strategic development committee where they plan on going through the highlights of each plan, while looking at the advantages and disadvantages that may be gleaned from each of the proposals.
From there, the committee will make a recommendation of which plan they want to go with to the full Board of Trustees, followed by starting negotiations with the top proposals. The contract would then be voted in public session and moves towards the next stage, determining what it will take to bring the ECHL into the arena for the 2018-19 season.
“I am sure when we meet as a full board, we kind of smile and say you know we did something right here. We did it for the citizens, the fans, and the customers of this particular institution. We do have a future and now let’s see if we have it within those four (proposals). One that can really carry us several seasons not just one season.” Berkowitz told The Sin Bin.
Professional hockey has been absent from the Portland sports landscape since the end of the 2015-16 season, when the Pirates were sold to a group of local investors and relocated to Springfield, MA.
Stay with The Sin Bin for more on the process of bringing hockey back to Portland, Maine.