Mayor hopeful about future of IceMen in Evansville - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Mayor hopeful about future of IceMen in Evansville

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) -

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke remains optimistic about the future of the Evansville IceMen in the city.  

Winnecke said the city is currently negotiating a new lease agreement with the team.  

"The initial proposal presented by the Icemen on October 5th would create an additional financial hardship to the City based upon last season’s attendance," Winnecke said.  "The City has been working on a counter-proposal that will be financially viable for both the City and the IceMen."

On Monday, Owner Ron Geary said Evansville could lose its hockey team without a more favorable lease.

Geary believes the IceMen lose money every year because they have the worst lease in the league.  

He says the team pays $650,000 a year to use the Ford Center.  

Officials with Mayor Winnecke’s office say the city provides more than $400,000 in rebates to help with the rent costs.

In a statement, Geary says in order to have a team for the 2016-17 season, the IceMen must have a lease in place with the city no later than December 1. 

We're told the team would not necessarily move if there is no agreement by that time, but the league would need to move forward in scheduling the 2016-2017 season with or without the IceMen.

Mayor Winnecke’s Chief of Staff, Steve Schaefer, says ice hockey is not in jeopardy in Evansville.  He says the city and the Icemen are working on an agreement that is viable for everyone.

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