FPHL commissioner Don Kirnan on potential of Elmira hockey this season


ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – It was a blockbuster day in Elmira for First Arena.

A new tenant, Tadross-Donner Sports & Entertainment, was introduced in a five-year agreement to operate First Arena. The venue has sat vacant since July after previous tenant CAN-USA and Robbie Nichols could not work out a new deal this past summer.

On Wednesday, Steve Donner said at a press event that hockey will return to First Arena. The group is putting together a proposal to bring a Federal Prospect Hockey League (FPHL) team back to the city, the same league the Enforcers played in for three years. Donner also mentioned how they are in negotiations with CAN-USA to potentially obtain the Enforcers franchise, but a name change will be put forth if and when they can work out a deal.

18 Sports reached out to FPHL Commissioner, Don Kirnan, who gives us an update on if hockey can return this season or potentially next year for First Arena.

“I don’t think they have everything together yet,” Kirnan said. “I don’t know, the season’s not that old. Some venues are simply not able to provide dates. It’ll be a chore, but nothing’s impossible,” added Kirnan.

Whether or not if hockey returns this season remains to be seen in Elmira. But, one thing is abundantly clear, a new era is dawning for First Arena. With Donner stating he plans to buy a home in Elmira, he will be in the trenches working tirelessly to make First Arena a successful entity not with just a hockey team, but also events and the reopening of youth hockey competition.

Something we all have been waiting for. Stay with 18 Sports for more updates on the future of the region’s biggest sports and entertainment venue.

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