ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Preparations are underway at First Arena for the return of the world famous Pink Floyd tribute band “Brit Floyd.” The band is on a world tour celebrating 50 years since the release of the “The Dark Side of the Moon,” one of the best-selling albums of all time. The First Arena itself is also marking the dawn of a new era under new leadership.

It’s a great show. It’s a tremendous light show,” said Mark Margeson, the Chairman of the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency, which owns the arena. “You know, a lot of a lot of the folks my age, we grew up with it, and I think it’s going to be an awesome, awesome night for everyone. I encourage the community to support it and set us on our way to a successful season,” said Margeson.

That success now depends on a new management team. In May, the Chemung County IDA evicted the arena’s former tenant, Steve Donner, the CEO of Mammoth Sports & Entertainment. Mr. Donner took over the arena in November of 2021 after signing a $1 per year lease. The IDA accuses Donner of not paying more than $200,000 in utility bills. Mr. Donner accuses the IDA of breaching the lease because of “delinquent maintenance” of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system.

“The IDA, through the capital resource group, has put together a management team for the first time ever in the history of the arena,” said Margeson. “The IDA currently owning the facility put together a management team to manage all the income stream and the expense stream of the arena. Normally, a hockey team or a hockey system has come into the arena and they accept all the money they collect all the money that comes in and, some pay some pay their bills, some didn’t pay their bills. It’s never been a good return for the community, the IDA or the County. So, this time, we control the income stream and the expense stream so that the hockey team does not. That’s the main difference,” said Margeson.

Next up for the arena is the return of ice hockey under a different name. The Elmira River Sharks are set to play their first home game on Friday, October 13th against the Binghamton Black Bears. Tickets are on sale at the arena. Mr. Margeson says the arena is also working on setting up a new online ticket portal.

The IDA says the arena’s practice rink, where youth teams usually play, will be turned into turf for sports like lacrosse and soccer. The team formerly known as the Elmira Junior Enforcers will now take the ice on the main rink as the Elmira Impact.

“So that’s going to open up opportunities for those folks that aren’t involved in hockey” said Margeson. “A lot of the younger folks in our area are traveling to Binghamton, to Ithaca to Endicott other places to use indoor turf. So, we felt that it’d be a great opportunity, flexibility to utilize the arena for other sources of income and fun for the community.”

The IDA also said people who bought tickets to a different concert at the arena that was canceled in June, can attend Wednesday night’s Brit Floyd concert for free. Just bring your ticket or receipt and it will be honored at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. Brit Floyd takes the stage at 8 p.m.