Due to issues with the ice surface at the Pensacola Bay Center, the Pensacola Ice Flyers (SPHL) were forced to postpone three home games over the weekend.
The issue with the ice was caused by a leak in one of the pipes that helps to produce the ice surface. As a result of the leak, the rink had to be removed, while the Ice Flyers ended up having to postpone three home games that were scheduled for the weekend. That included matchups on February 16 and 17 against the Mississippi RiverKings, followed by a February 18 contest against the Birmingham Bulls.
The Pensacola Bay Center is owned by Escambia County, and its aging condition–it originally opened in 1985, and its ice facility was installed in 1996–has been a topic of discussion among local officials. In a story dated last Wednesday, the Pensacola News Journal reported that Ice Flyers owner Greg Harris was frustrated by the situation, but that he did not blame arena manager SMG for the problem:
The Bay Center is owned by Escambia County. The management company, SMG, immediately began trying to seek a remedy. Harris made it clear that SMG was not at fault.
The Board of Escambia County commissioners have been debating for years on what to do about the Bay Center the county owns.
“This is not SMG’s fault,” Harris said. “No one can see through ice and see through concrete to see if there is a leak in the pipes. But they are the original pipes (from the construction in 1996).
“Money has not been provided to SMG to possibly take care of those. There are 11 miles of pipes underneath that concrete.”
On Monday, the Ice Flyers announced that all three of the postponed games have been rescheduled. The matchups against the RiverKings will now be played on March 7 and March 27, while the game against the Bulls has been shifted to March 20.