Manchester Phoenix have confirmed they have signed a commercial partnership agreement with Ice Tech UK as they press ahead with plans for a new rink in their home city.
Whilst the exact location of the new permanent ice arena is being closely guarded, Phoenix have revealed the new facility can be reached in around 20 minutes from Central Manchester and features excellent transport links.
Ice Tech UK has pioneered the design and construction of ice concepts, both permanent and temporary, across the UK and further afield.
The company spearheaded the iceSheffield development, seasonal rinks at Somerset House in London and has even put an ice rink into Red Square in Moscow.
Ice Tech UK will lead the club’s temporary ice project which will be their home for the next three years while the permanent home is brought to fruition.
The location of this building also has good transport links and is within 30 minutes of the main hub at Piccadilly.
Negotiations are ongoing with partners to provide seats, changing rooms, food & beverage and corporate VIP boxes at the temporary facility.
The building’s seating capacity will be confirmed in the coming weeks, but is thought to be around 1500 seats.
One of the senior partners at Ice Tech UK, Mark Nelson, said: “We know we have been up against stiff competition to become the main contractor for these projects, so we are very proud to have been chosen.
“We believe that Ice Tech has just the right blend of experience to put together both the temporary facility and the permanent ice project here in Manchester.
“We have just finished the survey for what looks to be the favourite site for the temporary structure. This will allow our client to see how we perform and what we are capable of. The team and I believe these are exciting times for Manchester.”
Phoenix have also announced that shares in the club are now on sale to commercial partners and supporters, with club owner Neil Morris offering 45% of the shares for sale.
A 10% stake will immediately be offered to the Manchester Phoenix Supporters Club to purchase in order to promote fan involvement with the club.
Phoenix and Red Hockey Ltd have agreed the terms on which they will part company with immediate effect.
The agreement, whilst confidential, involves the transfer of shares at a nominal sum and Red Hockey agreeing to write off significant amounts of monies loaned to Phoenix.
Morris commented: “Playing out of Deeside this season has been a challenge for the club’s fans and players alike, but we’re looking to the future and signing up Ice Tech UK is another step in confirming Phoenix’s presence in Greater Manchester.
“The sale of shares in the club is a vital step in ensuring the Phoenix’s immediate future, and we’re hopeful of attracting commercial partners who are interested in playing a long-term role in the club’s development.
“We would also like to thank Wayne (Scholes) and Red Hockey for all they have done for Phoenix – without their input it is unlikely that the team would have been able to survive to this stage.
“By this latest generous gesture, they have created an improved financial environment for the team on which we can seek new investors and take the team forward on a stronger financial footing.
“This journey is far from over, but now it’s going to start getting exciting.”
Scholes, who resigns as a Director of Manchester Phoenix, said: “After extensive discussions with Neil, it is clear that the only way to ensure Manchester can move forward is for us to bow out and make space for new investment.
“To ensure that can happen we have agreed to steps which will considerably improve Manchester’s immediate financial position and make them a more attractive proposition to new investors.
“Whilst we are sad to be leaving, we are very happy to have been able to play a part in ensuring the survival of the team, and we wish them and their great fans the very best for the future.”
(Image permission: Richard Amor Allan)