Is Hockey Returning to Lubbock?

Lubbock City Council to discuss the possibility of using the City Bank Coliseum for a North American Hockey League

Growing up in Canada, hockey has always been a way of life for Paul Fioroni, and now he's sharing the sport with his kids.

However, living in Lubbock makes hitting the ice hard to do.

"I've got a five year old son that I have to wait until I go to Dallas to put on skates and my daughter was a figure skater before the hocky team left," said Fioroni.

Lubbock's former hockey team, the Cotton Kings left the state in 2007 and Texas Tech's hockey team stopped playing a season later.

Since then, the former Cotton King Coach has had no one to teach and no where to skate with his kids.

"I think Lubbock, Texas, per capita, is the largest city in North America without a sheet of ice," said Fioroni. "That's pretty sad."

He blames the lack of ice on the city and team's failure to come to an agreement on a price to play at the City Bank Colliseium, six years ago.

That's why Fioroni said he saw not one, but two of the teams he coached disenegrate, including Texas Tech's.

"Are you going to pay this exorbitant amount of money to stay and play hockey in a dilapidated older building when you're the main tenant bringing in all the business to the building," said Fioroni. "I don't think anyone could come to a forefront to really meet in the middle and I think that eventually forced them out and everybody is effected negatively for it."

Fioroni is hoping all of that will soon change.

Thursday, Lubbock City Council will discuss the push to bring a North American Hockey League to town.

"So you're going to see the top amature kids from 15 to 20 come here," said Fioroni. "I mean you're brining in all that revenue into the hotels, the restaurants. You're having vendors coming in; you have business that are able to advertise at these games to make money. There's a lot that can benefit from it. What's amazing is that Odessa, Texas down the road can do it, Amarillo down I27 can do it, why can we not do it."

The city council will meet Thursday at 6:15 pm at City Hall.

The meeting is open to the public. 

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