Soooo, lets see, how do we increase hockey participation? Lets start by bringing the Phantoms to the Ice Zone, give them daily prime time ice for free, bumping the other (paying) hockey participants, YSU, Boardman, Ursuline, Canfield, private teams, adult teams and all the other people who are attached with hockey to fight for scraps of ice on the NHL rink or move over to the Olympic side to take ice away from the figure skaters. Then lets bump these people off of ice they paid for because the Phantoms needed it for some reason. This set in motion many young player teams (the seeds needed to propagate growth in hockey) and high school teams to loose interest since they could not get ice time. It also caused several figure skaters to loose their ice time and those ranks decreased from 150 in 2008 to roughly 35 when it closed. Then Bruce gets a bright idea to close the Olympic ice down under the guise of "it's broken" to save money and tossing all the other participants aside as "collateral damage". Then Bruce decides to extort the hockey and figure skaters by announcing that if they sell 1000 season tickets ($240,000.00 of which I speculate there was the $75K needed to pay Covelli in there) he will keep the Ice Zone open for the next year (read; Bruce needs the Ice Zone to be open so his Phantoms will have ice to practice on while someone else pays for it.) To prove that point the Ice Zone closed down on May 15th but there is still ice there for his use but it is closed to all others forcing them to find other rinks or quit as punishment for not selling 1,000 season passes! So the Ice Zone is loosing money because of Bruces mismanagement and then lets blame the whole community on the failure to bring hockey to a football town. Honestly the Phantoms did well and fought hard as I have been to several of the games at Covelli (a jewel of a facility). Bruce fails to recognize that he has alienated every hockey related person in this town against him. If Bruce thought last years attendance was poor just wait until the attendance results of next years games. If I were on the deciding board I would have concerts on those weekends that will be sold out instead of listening to crickets chirp at next season's Phantoms games!
June 3, 2013 at 2:41 p.m.
Due to the fact that there is so much coolant piping under the floor that would have to removed so it could support any industrial use it may be cost prohibitive to convert to that specification, so maybe indoor soccer? The price would have to be significantly lower than $2.2M to support that venue. Boardman does not need another empty big box but it can be a twin to the bigger empty box across the street from it. Too bad for the loss of the Ice Zone it truly was the coolest place in town but great to hear that all of the skaters are going to the greener pastures of Covelli.
April 17, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.
Originally it was the 3 partners, Burda was bought out some time ago making Mr. Zoldan majority position owner. Tom Hutch is a great guy and good people but is being dragged through the mud and has zero control or say since he is a minority position owner.
April 16, 2013 at 12:07 p.m.
Well hopefully the figure skaters can also join the youth hockey at Covelli. Then Mr. Zoldan, you can now close the Ice Zone because your loyal skating families that have supported you for all these years have left the building. Please turn off the lights on your way out.
April 15, 2013 at 2:16 p.m.
Sorry it's been a while for the coaches, I remember Grant Springer was there and both the kids and parents loved him. When Mr. Zoldan let him go he took quite a few kids with him to Pittsburgh.
Please correct me if I'm wrong but sometimes being forced into a situation is good as it gives you the opportunity to look elsewhere. Thankfully the management of the Covelli Center has stepped up and once again saved the day and kept all of the skating families together and local (hockey for sure don't know about figure skating). From what I understand they will be taking over where the Ice Zone left off to keep these community sports venues going and to keep the business in our home town. This will also improve traffic downtown and hopefully these skating families which total roughly a little over 1,000 will patronize the local restaurants and shops to keep the revitalization of Youngstown downtown strong and the Covelli Center further improve it's continuously improving bottom line. Thank you to the management of the Covelli Center for keeping this community sports event alive and best wishes for your continued success.
April 15, 2013 at 1:47 p.m.
cycler;Boy do I agree with you and I remember those days where we had additional seating on the ice for the shows because the grandstands were sold out.
Mr. Zoldan a community leader and philanthropist? He doesn't even live here anymore let alone share his wealth. I say that this 4th of July there will be no Phantom fireworks at my house! There are other places to go...I don't buy that fact that there is no following for the ice sports here. I know at least 100 kids that their parents drive them to Neville Island Ice rink for hockey or figure skating, which is located at a defunct petrochemical site on a nasty side of town! Their 4 rinks are sold out, their coaches are top shelf and the management knows what to do to make it work. Why? because the Ice Zone has no available ice or competent qualified coaches.
As far as Mr. Zoldan loosing $1M out of his pocket. That was the failure of the Phantoms team and had nothing to do with the Ice Zone. Although the Phantoms team did suck the Ice Zone dry in the process.
April 15, 2013 at 12:34 p.m.
Mr. Zoldan is majority owner, controls and manages the Ice Zone. The skating families have kept the Ice Zone running strong for many years prior to the Phantoms team coming on board. Once the Phantoms team started that team took all the prime time ice and paid nothing for it. The skating families suffered but at least they had the 2nd rink on the other side to skate on. Then Mr. Zoldan decided to close the second rink down a few years ago under the guise of “it’s broken” now we find out that it was just shut off to save money on utilities. Once again the skating families suffered and at least ½ the youth hockey team was lost due to the fact there was no ice available and the remaining users had to fight for the few hours of ice time that were left. Also lost in that 2nd rink closing was the public ice and teen night. This was a wonderful community event where young people could go, have fun and BE SAFE and on countless occasions was sold out. As someone who has enjoyed the Ice Zone for many years and seen what it was like before the Phantoms team came in, took over and watched it all fall apart, makes me sad not just for me but the countless young people who are missing out on a very gratifying sport be it figure skating or hockey. Mr. Zoldan fails to realize that this is where hockey event participation “grows” with young kids that want to watch older kids/adults play. Now Mr. Zoldan wants the skating families to raise $240,000.00 to keep the Ice Zone open, or else he will close it, sounds somewhat like extortion. Unfortunately the only reason he will use that money to keep it open is for Mr. Zoldan’s Phantoms to continue to practice there for free while skating families pay twice, once for the Phantoms season ticket sales and again to buy ice time for their sport. The skating families went through great lengths to organize a “Save the Ice Zone Skate a Thon” only to have Mr. Zoldan refuse, without any reason whatsoever, to let them raise money to save the Ice Zone and cancelled the event. What’s that all about? How are these people who are doing their best supposed to raise that kind of money when even Mr. Zoldan cannot do it? Mr. Zoldan continually blames his misfortunes on the lack of community support. Now Mr. Zoldan says “Truthfully, I don’t have the time to be involved with this.” Of course that is not his fault either.
April 15, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.