The Gold Coast Blue Tongues will not play in the AIHL in 2013. The club released a statement this morning.
The Bartercard Gold Coast Blue Tongues have to go through a little pain next season by having to pull out of the Australian Ice Hockey League (AIHL) for season 2013. However the gain is looking to the future and a beautiful brand new ice sports stadium. The Blue Tongues have come to an agreement with the AIHL to defer their license for season 2013, and to resume playing in season 2014.
A number of factors have contributed to the decision by Blue Tongues Management. The main factor which has been well documented is that the present ice rink on the Gold Coast does not meet the standards set out by the AIHL minimum venue standards. Management has tried to make alternatives for season 2013, however none of the options were viable in the end.
The obvious option was to play home games in Brisbane at either Boondall or Acacia Ridge. Unfortunately neither facility was made available to the Blue Tongues at starting times that were commercially viable. Other options included looking at the feasibility of setting up a temporary ice rink on the Gold Coast. Management sourced a ready to use professional ice rink from New Zealand, the same ice rink that was used last year in the USA VS Canada series in New Zealand, and will be used this year in Sydney and Melbourne for the same series. Management even had discussions to play their home games in either Erina Fair on the Central Coast or Xtreme Ice Arena in Perth.
On a positive note, management continues to move forward on delivering a new Ice Sports Stadium on the Gold Coast. Blue Tongues President, Dave Emblem, is attending the Gold Coast Mayor’s Trade Mission to Taiwan and China in November, presenting the Ice Sports Stadium investment proposal in the cities of Taipei, Tainan, and Zhuhai. The recently elected Mayor of the Gold Coast, Tom Tate is supportive of the initiative of getting additional infrastructure being built to benefit the community of the Gold Coast.
Mr Emblem also recently returned from a trip to Montreal in Canada where he had meetings with two facilities that recently opened with the same floor plan as the Blue Tongues would play in season 2014. Blue Tongues Assistant Manager Sean Garvan and his company Structural Finance are also working closely with Mr Emblem to deliver the Ice Sports Stadium to the Gold Coast.
The new Ice Sports Stadium for the Gold Coast is designed for two Olympic sized ice rinks, separated by an upstairs sports bar and café. The sports bar will have viewing areas to both ice rinks and include an open indoor self-serve BBQ area to cater for all the ice sports members and visiting public. The upstairs area will also feature a themed café. The main rink will have seating for 2000 spectators and aside from being the home of the Blue Tongues, will also be home to a daily “Disney” on ice type show to cater for the 10 million plus visitors to the Gold Coast each year. Similar to the Blue Tongues having import players from overseas, the Ice Show Spectacular skating troupe will include some of the best young skaters from around Australia, plus young imported skaters from North America and Europe. The new Ice Sports Stadium will also cater to recreational hockey teams from all over the world by putting together hockey, golf and theme park packages. The other ice sports to benefit the community and schools of the Gold Coast include, figure skating, speed skating, curling, ringette, ball hockey and broomball, and of course ice hockey.
Management would like to wish all the teams in the AIHL and the commission a great season in 2013, and most importantly management would like to thank all the supporters and sponsors for their support of the Blue Tongues over the last 8 years. The organisation is very much looking forward to providing the Gold Coast community with the most exciting entertainment in years to come in a stadium that will make all sports enthusiasts proud no matter what team they support.
Gold Coast Blue Tongues Management