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Discussions on Sale of First Arena Continue

Elmira Jackals

The home of the Elmira Jackals is still in the process of being sold, as officials continue to work on finalizing a sale of First Arena

Last summer, officials confirmed that First Arena would not be sold before the 2016-17 ECHL season began. The Chemung County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) had purchased the arena from Tom Freeman and Nate Cook earlier in 2016, with the hope of eventually finding a private buyer for the venue.

That process has continued into early this year, and nothing has been finalized in regards to both the arena’s ownership and the need to address upgrades at the venue. However, there have been some signs of progress, as county officials say that a prospective buyer in place. This news was revealed on Monday, when Chemung County voted to pass a resolution that offered support to the arena. More from the Star Gazette:

County legislators passed a resolution Monday stating their continued support of a public-private partnership as the county’s Industrial Development Agency, which acquired the arena last summer, prepares to hand it off to a new owner.

Officials have declined to publicly name the potential buyer, but County Executive Tom Santulli said Tuesday he is a local businessman with the resources and experience necessary to operate the facility and the Elmira Jackals hockey team.

The IDA purchased the arena in June from former owners Tom Freeman and Nate Cook, with the intention of selling it to a private operator.

Any potential agreement to transfer ownership would include some funding from the county, the IDA and the City of Elmira to assist the new owner with immediate upgrades, including an outdated ice plant.

Even with the county on board, officials stressed that the funding model for the upgrades is not finalized. More details could be released before the end of this month.

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