Pelham prepares to renovate Civic Complex for Birmingham Bulls hockey
You'll see lots of progress in Pelham as the city works to bring professional hockey back to the region.
The city is renovating the civics complex to be ready for November 3, the Birmingham Bulls first home game.
Mayor Gary Waters tells ABC 33/40 he already signed the contract to demolish the old bleachers. Monday, council will vote on the multi-million dollar deal to build 4,100 new seats, new concessions stands, restrooms and locker rooms.
“When people say, are you going to be ready? We don't have an option,” said Bulls owner Art Clarkson. “We'll be ready.”
Clarkson says not only will the arena and team be ready, they'll be competitive.
“We're having a tryout camp in September,” said Clarkson. “The coach already signed 16 players and yeah, it's coming together.”
Eli Gold signed on to be the voice of the team. He will call play by play for broadcasts.
“Growing up in NYC hockey was the first thing I did as a professional broadcaster,” said Gold. “I worked in the lowest of low minor leagues, loved the sport.”
Merchandise is already selling, a sign to Clarkson that the fans will be ready to fill the newly built seats.
“It's great the city is willing to upgrade the rink to get a professional team in here,” said Matt Therrien. “It'll help our hockey program a lot.”
Therrien coaches youth hockey in Pelham.
“They're trying to upgrade this facility for the professional team but it will also be nice for everybody else,” said Therrien. “The kids will have a nice rink to play at. They'll be able to play on a rink a professional team's at. The kids will think it's awesome.”
Therrian expects bringing back professional hockey to help his youth hockey team keep growing.