Christmas came early for hockey fans in the Blue Water Area. The Federal Hockey League announced it will establish a professional team at McMorran Arena.
A press conference was held April 2 by Assistant General Manager of McMorran Arena Rob Churchill, along with owner of an unnamed franchise Barry Soskin and FHL Commissioner Don Kirnan.
The Federal Hockey League now in its 6th year of existence will expand to 7 teams with the addition of Port Huron. The lease agreement with the building is good for the next five years.
This will be the 4th team in 13 years that Port Huron has hosted, with the most recent being the Port Huron Fighting Falcons (now the Keystone Ice Miners in Pennsylvania) the Port Huron Icehawks, Beacons, and, of course, the Bordercats.
“The leagues that Port Huron has been in in the past, didn’t suit them or the facility,” Soskin said. “I was in the East Coast Hockey League in Toledo with a 5300 seat building, really hard to make ends meet when your budget is only a million and a half to two million dollars. Now I don’t know about Port Huron’s exactly but I know enough about the league to know if their budgets work, those numbers don’t fit.”
The Federal Hockey League wants to meet their expected target profits but it also wants to provide quality family entertainment at affordable prices.
Soskin would also state, “If the owner is making all the money and the fans aren’t getting a product, that doesn’t work. If the fans are getting everything and the owner keeps going into his pocket, that doesn’t work. So it has to be a win-win for everybody and by doing that the building will be successful too. I believe that the FHL has a model that works it’s a proven winner the product is great. This is family affordable entertainment, and it’s better than going to see a movie.”
This is the first time in 6 years Port Huron will have professional hockey vs. having a junior league team.
“I think we were leaning towards pro all along, and I’ve been working on this since the month the Fighting Falcons left,” Churchill said. “The crowd had pretty much told us (the Mcmorran Staff) that’s what they were interested in.”