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IceMen won't play next season

The Icemen will take a year off, while the team’s new home is prepared in Owensboro.

The hockey team will not play during the 2016-2017 season to allow time for the renovation of the 66-year-old OwensboroSportcenter.

The ECHL says on its website that the league’s Board of Governors has approved the team’s request for a voluntary one-year suspension.

The IceMen are leaving Evansville after the current season because team owner Ron Geary and the city couldn’t reach agreement on a new contract.

The team’s deal with Owensboro calls for Geary to renovate and expand the Sportcenter so it can accommodate hockey and seat more than 7,000 fans.

Meantime, Evansville reached a deal with the Southern Professional Hockey League to keep minor league hockey at the Ford Center.

The Redevelopment Commission approved a five-year lease with new team owner Mike Hall two weeks ago. The team’s name is expected to be announced soon.

Officials say the lease with the new team is virtually identical to deal rejected by the IceMen.

Evansville will charge the team $1,000 per game to play at the Ford Center. The team will retain most advertising rights, while the city keeps concession revenue.

The deal also includes a clause to keep the owner from moving the team.

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