The Madison Capitols (USHL) will not be playing at Hartmeyer Ice Arena for the 2017-18 season, as a plan to move to the venue has come up short. The Capitols will instead now spend the upcoming season at Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.
The Capitols revealed in July that they planned to move to Hartmeyer Ice Arena, effectively shifting their home games from Veterans Memorial Coliseum. At the time, the decision was viewed as allowing the Capitols to offer a fan experience more conducive to USHL action, as they would be playing in front of a seating capacity of 3,500 at Hartmeyer Ice Arena, which could have received upgrades to accommodate the team. Additionally, an increase in event bookings at Veterans Memorial Coliseum was posing a scheduling challenge for the Capitols.
That move, however, is no longer in the works, and the Capitols are settling on the 1,300-seat Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena as their home in the weeks leading to the USHL’s first games in October. Team representatives say that, though a tentative agreement for using Hartmeyer Ice Arena was in place, discussions of finalizing that deal reached an impasse. More from The Wisconsin State Journal:
“Ryan wanted to do some things with renovations and updates over the course of time to the arena,” Joudrey said. “And I think it was a question of those renovations, when they were going to be done, how they were going to be done, the financing of them.”
Representatives from Madison Ice Inc., which bought the facility and Madison Ice Arena from the city of Madison in 2004, didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.
The main rink at Capitol Ice Arena holds 1,300 fans, which is well below the league minimum (3,500). The Chicago Steel’s Fox Valley Ice Arena, with a capacity of 3,000, was the USHL’s smallest venue last season.
Bob Suter’s Capitol Ice Arena is receiving some upgrades to accommodate the Capitols, including to areas such as locker rooms. The team’s home opener is still scheduled for October 6.
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