City of Evansville prepared to offer five-year deal to IceMen - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

City of Evansville prepared to offer five-year deal to IceMen


We're less than two weeks away from an important deadline for the city and the Evansville IceMen.

The two sides don't have a contract to lease the Ford Center.

The team needs to work out a lease with the city by December 1 or they won't be able to schedule games for the 2016-2017 season.

Owner Ron Geary says he’s had offers in other cities, but he wants to keep the team in Evansville. 

[RELATED: Mayor hopeful about future of IceMen in Evansville]

Geary told us the IceMen are paying the most rent in the ECHL at $650,000.  He says they give the city about $1.2 million annually with extra profits. 

However, we’re told the city provides more than $400,000 in rebates to help pay the rent and makes very little money from the IceMen.    

Geary tells us it's not a rebate.  What the city does is give a portion of every suite ticket sale back to the IceMen.

“The city sells those tickets and then according to our contract, they're supposed to pay us $20 a ticket for those seats that they sell,” said Geary. 

“Money flows both directions,” says Randy Alsman, President of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission.  “Any number close to $1.2 million would only be part of the story.  The full financial impact for the city is basically break even.”

We’re told the city will offer a five-year deal to the IceMen.  It would allow the team to pay rent based on how many fans attend the games. 

If more people go, they would pay less in rent and the city would still keep food and drink profits.

Geary says depending on the scale of that agreement, he would be willing to sign that lease.

That could happen as early as Wednesday. 

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