Elmira Youth Hockey season in jeopardy, parents share concerns on First Arena


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – Local hockey parents expressed their immediate concern regarding the future of their kids in the sport.

Elmira Youth Hockey, a prominent group that provides a platform for hundreds of kids to play in the region, is still uncertain if they will play at all amid First Arena’s transition of tenants. Earlier this month, CAN-USA’s deal with First Arena expired on July 16, just weeks before the youth hockey season would begin practice on the ice.

First Arena owners, The Chemung County IDA, has yet to announce a new tenant after that deal expired. Now, parents are left with questions and are in search of quick answers.

On Tuesday night, Elmira Youth Hockey held a special board meeting in West Elmira discussing potential options for their kids to play the game they love. Parents discussed their troubles with getting kids their opportunities on the ice and being left out in the cold for the future. The IDA revealed they are leaving all options on the table regarding a new tenant.

Parents at Tuesday’s meeting suggested getting in touch with The IDA and Chemung County Executive Chris Moss on working towards a good solution.

After a three-year contract between The IDA and CAN-USA came to an end, the future is indeed in doubt. Robbie Nichols, who is the president of the Elmira Youth Hockey board, was also the previous tenant of First Arena and owner of the Elmira Enforcers. No meeting has been held with Nichols and CAN-USA yet on a potential new deal.

The IDA will be holding a special meeting of their own on Thursday morning at 9:30 am which may potentially address local hockey parents’ concerns over the season. A live stream will be provided by Chemung County and it can be found here on Thursday’s meeting: https://www.chemungcountyny.gov/live_meetings_and_video_archive/index.php

Although The IDA and CAN-USA may be on different sides of negotiations, parents and the hockey community are hopeful that good sense prevails to keep many hockey dreams alive. They are hopeful for more. Something this area and its people deserve. 18 Sports takes you to the meeting on Tuesday night.

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