SOURCE: Details regarding Pennsylvania FHL Pursuit

Earlier today we officially broke the news, from multiple sources in the Federal Hockey League, that the league’s second expansion team for the 2018-19 season was planned to be located in Pennsylvania, joining presumptive and all-of-confirmed expansion Mentor, Ohio.

The issue is, next to none of the sources had any concrete evidence or idea of what city the team would be located in. The overwhelming narrative was that it would not be in a former FHL territory, meaning Rostraver Township.

A source within the league closer to the situation confirmed that the pursuit was for Connelsville at The Ice Mine, and this proved to be true. Upon reaching out to the rink, a source there was able to confirm minute details.

“There have been talks with the [Federal Hockey] League and our rink”, they said “They have been in contact with us, {but} nothing has officially been decided upon between us and league to date.”
Following this interaction, I received a phone call from a number I did not recognize. Upon answering, I learned that this individual had been keeping up with our site and had been contacted by rinks we’d contacted in regards to searching for answers.

This individual was directly related to the pursuit of the Pennsylvania FHL franchise, as one of the potential parts of an ownership group, and has been for some time.

They narrowed it down to a couple rinks, including a few that may sound familiar.

The search started with Hobart Arena in Troy, Ohio where things looked promising, but certain agreements couldn’t be reached, and both groups peacefully and mutually moved on. The two groups wanted it to work, but it just didn’t work.

Next on their list was, yes, Rostraver Township’s Rostraver Ice Garden, former home of the FHL’s SWPA Magic and Steel City Warriors. The PA FHL group was desperately willing to work with this arena, even offering to out out down an excess of “$40 to $50,0000 on the spot”, but based on the previous problems with the FHL and “getting burned by a few franchises”, the rink owner wasted no time and turned them down, regardless of the money the group was willing to put up immediately.

This lead to the final and best link between both sides: The Ice Mine in Connelsville, former home of the NAHL’s Keystone Ice Miners. Between the group and the rink, things were very preferable. The rink transferred ownership last year, and everything has gone well, besides being able to attract more business. The rink was incredibly open to working with the league, and the group would’ve loved to make that facility happen, but…

The franchise-pursuit is in jeopardy, due to slight lack of capital funding.

When the individual came into the group, they brought with them a “good amount of money”, and looked very promising to start off.

When the group brought in additional partners to help raise funding, the initial fire burnt out quickly, as the partner group got cold feet and bailed.

At this point for the franchise to hit the ice properly for this season, they’ll need “about six figures to make the project happen”, and are actively searching desperately for sponsors to make the team happen.

They feel as though the team could plausibly work to play this season, and could easily turn the proofs, but the individual understands that the league needs true stability and solidarity. They subscribe to the “Scott Brand model of running a franchise, granted he’s been around it longer than I have.”, and completely agrees with the mantra of no bad markets, only bad marketers. This individual isn’t in their first time pursuing and running a franchise, they’ve ran a semi professional hockey team before that did significant attendance numbers in a new major hockey city.

The individual isn’t giving up pursuit, even if this year doesn’t work out. They said that with another year, they can easily self-raise the funds necessary to put a team in this league next year.

If you have have an extra $100,000 sitting around and want to see hockey in the Keystone State, please get in contact with BLH to get you in contact with the right people.

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