Deputy County Executive confirms new ownership and hockey team in the works for First Arena

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Mike Krusen, Deputy County Executive and President of STEG, confirmed today that First Arena is, in fact, in the process of transferring ownership to a private party as well as getting a new hockey team into First Arena.

This time last year, Simmons-Rockwell co-owner Brian Barrett, officially withdrew his offer, leaving the future of First Arena uncertain.  County Executive Tom Santulli said that Barrett backed out after Sheriff Chris Moss publicized the investigation into how the Industrial Developing Agency (IDA) acquired the arena back in 2015.

A new offer was made for First Arena in July of 2017, by Robbie Nichols, co-owner of the Elmira Pioneers.  Nichols’ offer was denied during an IDA meeting on July 14 by the board.

First Arena originally opened in 2000 as the Coach USA Center, changing its name in 2004 to First Arena.  It is a 3,784-seat multi-purpose facility which has two ice surfaces, a full-service restaurant and bar, a food service center for the recreational rink, a video game arcade, 31 luxury suites, group/party facilities, and community/meeting rooms, among other available amenities.  First Arena was also home to the Elmira Jackals ice hockey team until 2017.

This is a developing story.  Stick with 18 News online and on the air for updates as more information becomes available.

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