UHL expands to Bloomington, Illinois
September 21, 2005 - International Hockey League 2 (IHL 2) News Release
LAKE ST. LOUIS, MO--- The United Hockey League (UHL) announced Wednesday that the league's Board of Governors has awarded a member club to Bloomington, Illinois. The team will be owned and operated by BMI Hockey, LLC and will play at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum in downtown Bloomington beginning in the 2006-07 season. Members of BMI Hockey, LLC are Tony Lisman, Mike Nelson, and John Butler.
"It is very exciting to have Bloomington as a part of the UHL," stated Richard Brosal, UHL President/CEO. "The addition of Bloomington is very positive based on the strength of the market and how it fits into our league geographically. A new facility and a new team will also be great for the community."
The U.S. Cellular Coliseum is set to open in March 2006. With over 180,000 square feet of space, the multi-purpose facility will seat 7,000 fans for hockey games. The building is being constructed by Johnston Contractors and will host concerts, trade shows, conventions, and sporting events. The Coliseum also includes an attached ice facility, Pepsi Ice Center, for public use.
"A tremendous amount of time and energy has been put into making this day a reality," stated Mike Nelson, General Manager & Chief Marketing Officer of the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. "We feel that we have chosen the right league for the great city of Bloomington. The UHL is a league that has a great reputation along with great regional rivalries for our team here in Bloomington. We look forward to dropping the puck in October of 2006 in the United Hockey League."
Tony Lisman has been the principal owner of the Muskegon Fury since the organization began in 1992. The team has never missed the playoffs or suffered a losing season during its 13 years of competition. Lisman has helped lead the team to four UHL Colonial Cup championships (1999, 2002, 2004, 2005), the most in league history.
"We have felt that the Bloomington market was a natural fit for our league for the past four plus years," stated Tony Lisman, Owner/President of the Muskegon Fury. "I look forward to working with John Butler and Mike Nelson in making this expansion team a successful operation."
"Hockey will be a great asset to the city of Bloomington, and we will recommend approval of a lease for the hockey team by the City Council," stated John Butler, Building Manager & Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Cellular Coliseum.
Contact the U.S. Cellular Coliseum at 309-434-2843 for additional details of the facility. More information about the team will be released at a later date.
The United Hockey League is entering its 15th season which begins play on October 21st. The league is comprised of 14 Member Clubs competing in seven states.
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- UHL expands to Bloomington, Illinois - IHL 2
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