SALISBURY, Md. - Friday Wicomico County Executive Bob Culver made his intent to bring minor league hockey to the county official. Culver signing a contract with Paramount Sports Services to allow them to search for a team to bring to the Wicomico County Youth and Civic Center.
Initially, there is no cost for the contract said Paramount Sport Services President Jim Calpin. Calpin said over the next year the contract will allow him to go out and see what the possibilities are of buying a team in the Southern Professional Hockey League or the bigger ECHL and relocating it Salisbury.
The cost for the county will come in preparing the Civic Center for hockey. An ice maker would need to be purchased to create the surface and locker rooms would need to be built among other things. Any of those decisions though, including a team relocating to Salisbury would have to be approved by the county council.
Councilman Marc Kilmer said Friday via Twitter that no potential plans of bringing a hockey team to the area had been presented to the council yet.
According to Calpin, talks about bringing a team to the area started roughly a decade ago. Calpin said new upgrades to the civic center and the addition of alcohol sales helped factor in to the decision to move forward with the plan. That along with the fact that Paramount believes the area could support having a minor league hockey team.
"Looking at the demographic numbers we feel that it would be a very good fit to have hockey here in this arena," Calpin said.
The team would play anywhere from 25-30 nights a year. Although the plans are in the initial stages, Culver was already excited about the prospects.
"This is going to be a bonus to the civic center, it's not going to be like we're going to lose any bookings," Culver said.
Culver pointing out that a floor would be able to be put over the ice so that there would be no disruption to the normal events the civic center hosts during the winter months such as the Governor's Challenge or the monster truck events.
One team excited about the prospects of minor league hockey coming to Delmarva, the Salisbury University Club Ice Hockey Team.
Goalie Brad Geyer said the team currently plays and practices in Harrington, Del. A roughly hour drive away from campus. Geyer said the Gulls would look to see if they could get ice time if a rink was built in the civic center.
As for the popularity of a potential hockey team, Geyer believes it wouldn't just be the club hockey team purchasing tickets.
"Theres a huge hockey following on campus. I mean you see people wearing hockey jerseys, you know hockey stuff all the time," Geyer said.
Fruitland resident Richard Herbert believes locals will enjoy having hockey in the area as well.
"There's a lot of guys out here that would like to see a hockey game up close and personal. I've seen them up close and personal and they're it's really good," Herbert said.
Calpin said the goal is to have the hockey team ready to go by October 2018.
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