New hockey team, Covelli Centre close to an agreement

YOUNGSTOWN — The city has come to an agreement in principle with the incoming Youngstown Phantoms hockey team to play its 30 regular season home games a season at the Covelli Centre.

The board of control today signed a letter of intent that outlines the provisions of a final contract, which is still to be drawn up.

Bruce Zoldan, owner of the new team, which will play in the United States Hockey League, had already signed the letter.

The deal should be finalized in about 30 days.

The USHL is the top amateur hockey league in the country.

The contract is for five years with various provisions that could end the deal after four years if the team’s annual attendance is below 60,000, an average of 2,000 a game for the 30-game regular season.

The Phantoms are replacing the Mahoning Valley Phantoms, also an amateur hockey team, which played in the North American Hockey League, a lower league, this past season at the Covelli Centre, formerly called the Chevrolet Centre.

The rental fee for the new team, which starts playing in October, is similar to the money paid to the center by the NAHL Phantoms.

For games with attendance of 2,999 and under the rent is $2,750. It’s $3,500 a game for attendance between 3,000 and 4,000 fans, and $4,000 for attendance above 4,000. The only difference in the rent is the NAHL team paid $3,000 to the center for games that had crowds between 3,000 and 4,000.

The fees will increase by 3 percent in the fourth year of the deal and by another 3 percent in the fifth year.

For the complete story, read Friday’s Vindicator or

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