The North American Hockey League will be returning to Jamestown in September.
On Monday, the Jamestown Area Hockey Associates, which is made up of local businessmen and community leaders, announced the return of junior hockey to the Jamestown Saving Bank Arena. The yet-to-be-named team will play more than 20 home games during the 2014-15 season.
''We are very pleased that hockey will be returning to the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. There is a lot of work that has gone into making this a reality for the benefit of the community, especially with a local group of owners who live here and support the community on a personal and professional level,'' said Brian Cersosimo, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena general manger.
Pictured, from left, are Dr. Jim Cirbus, Jamestown Area Hockey Associates president, Vic Tarana, Jamestown Area Hockey Associates treasurer, and Brian Cersosimo, Jamestown Savings Bank Arena general manager, during the announcement of a North American Hockey League team playing this fall at the arena. Cersosimo said the hockey team will play more than 20 home games during the 2014-15 season.
P-J photo by Dennis Phillips
The new team will compete in the North American 3 Hockey League, which is a Tier 3 league. The team will be moving from Fraser, Mich., where it was known as the Michigan Mountain Cats.
Cersosimo said the league will fit well geographically with Jamestown, with rival teams located in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
"Today's announcement represents the culmination of many hours of hard work with a dedicated group of local guys sharing a common vision of promoting hockey at all levels in the Southern Tier,'' said Dr. Jim Cirbus, Jamestown Area Hockey Associates president. ''Our organization's ultimate goal is to establish a successful high-level hockey program for the community to enjoy for many years to come. Hopefully this will be the catalyst to begin to utilize this wonderful ice arena the Gebbie Foundation has provided us to its full potential.''
The Jamestown Area Hockey Associates has 13 local buyers which includes: Gene Aversa; Jim Campion, George Carlson; Cirbus; Chuck Hall; John LaMancuso; Tom McFall Chuck McGowan; Tim Shults; Chris Smith; Randy Stuart; Vic Tarana and Tim Trageser. Cersosimo said the new hockey team will be different than the ones in the past because of the local purchasing group.
''The whole premise for the local group is to build and maintain hockey here in Jamestown,'' Cersosimo said.
Cersosimo said there will be 22-24 home games for the new team. He said each game will be an event, with the community being part of the home games.
''It will be a little different than what you've seen in the past,'' he said. ''They're is nobody in the league with a facility like this.''
Tarana, who is the Jamestown Area Hockey Associates treasurer, said game tickets will not be as expensive as $15 a piece, but will be around $5 for a game, with season passes being around $99.
''We want to make it affordable,'' he said.
There will be a name the team contest, with winners receiving two season tickets and access to additional perks during the 2014/15 and 2015/16 seasons. To enter the contest, send three team name ideas along with your name, address, age and contact information to email@example.com. Entries will be accepted until March 24 at 11:59 p.m. The winner, along with the new team name and logo, will be announced soon after.
The team website, tryouts and other information will be available to the public soon.