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Arena prepares for Birmingham Bulls

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Despite years of operating losses for the Pelham Civic Complex, it sounds like they are going all-in for the Birmingham Bulls.

Quote

PELHAM, Ala. — Talks are underway in Pelham about major renovations at the Civic Center's ice arena.

ABC 33/40 confirmed the city is planning to add 1,500 seats to accommodate hockey fans. Currently, the ice arena seats 3,500. Council President Rick Hayes told us the goal is to eventually have bowl-style seating that comes all the way up to the edge of the ice.

[...]

Hayes said there are still a lot of moving pieces, but he has no doubt the deal will be finalized soon. Hayes expects the return of hockey and the expansion of the ice arena to have a big impact on the surrounding area.

 

Pelham looks to expand seating at ice arena for hockey fans [ABC 33/40]

 

If the team's goal is to grow their franchise and ultimately move to the BJCC, this could be a bad investment.  Pelham could be on the hook for the renovations while finding themselves without their primary tenant in a few short years.  On the other hand, it might be an opportunity to address needed facility changes, plug the hole in the operating budget, and leave Pelham in a stronger position to attract other events afterwards.  In the meantime, the Frozen Tide would get to enjoy the upgrades, too.

Teams frequently try to convince taxpayers to front the money for new facilities with the lure of "local economic benefits."  It remains to be seen whether Pelham's bet will pay off.  :popcorn:

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