For the first time in ten years, professional hockey is coming back to the Berglund Center. If you live in an apartment in Roanoke, VA you can once again have fun cheering for your team next year!
At a press conference Tuesday morning, Center management announced the arena will be the new home for a Roanoke-based team that will join the Southern Professional Hockey League.
In front of a packed room, the Berglund Center's general manager Robyn Schon told people that, "12 months from this month right now, we will see the first puck drop."
That's something Roanoke's heard before, but this time city and team leaders are confident hockey is here to stay.
"It's a good leadership team. They're smart folks. They've got folks on the ground. They got Roanoke Valley people who are invested in this, going to want to see the success and I think they have a good business plan," said David Bowers, the mayor of Roanoke.
Part of that plan is to keep ticket prices reasonable. Bob McGinn, the owner of the new team elaborated, "You're going to be able to get into our building to watch a hockey game for as little as $10, $11. I don't see a ticket being any higher than $20, $21."
But even with that, people have mixed reactions about the new team. Some hope it will be a success, but others aren't as optimistic.
The Berglund Center was the home of the ECHL's Roanoke Express for 11 years and currently serves as the home for several college teams including Virginia Tech.
The new Roanoke team will be part of the Southern Professional Hockey League. The owners toured different cities, but once they saw Roanoke, they knew it would be their new home. "We went downtown area, into the market area. It was clean, there wasn't anything boarded up. It was a beautiful community. Everybody looked happy. Everybody looked clean," said McGinn.
Along with that, the Berglund Center wooed the team with an arena that will be fully renovated by the time the puck drops in 2016.
The team owners will be back in Roanoke on November 19th to announce the new team's name and its colors.