Pasadena seeks hockey team

I wish them luck.

Pasadena city officials and a group of developers recently discussed working together on a $357 million sports and entertainment resort development to be built in the convention center area.

The focal point of the proposed 200-acre master-planned development is a convertible entertainment venue and multi-use sports arena to hosts youth and professional sports tournaments and games, concerts, rodeos and ice hockey games among other things.

David Miles of Western Spherical Developers, LLC, outlined plans for the proposed development at a Pasadena City Council workshop held Tuesday (March 1).

As part of the proposal for the sports arena, Miles said members of the development team are in preliminary discussions with officials from the American Hockey League to bring an ice hockey team to Pasadena.

“In addition to ice hockey, I would think a soccer team would also be beneficial to Pasadena,” Councilmember Sammy Casados said.

Miles said the sports arena ice rink was convertible and could used for other sports events such as indoor soccer tournaments or to host professional indoor soccer games.

“Pasadena is a wonderful destination market for indoor youth soccer tournaments and professional-level indoor soccer games and we are definitely looking into those options,” Miles said.

The proposed sports arena could also be adapted for other sporting events such as rodeo/equestrian events, indoor football, indoor lacrosse, basketball, boxing, wrestling, BMX and motorcross races and monster-truck events.

The Houston area hasn’t had a hockey team since the Aeros left town, so I’m rooting for that to happen. But don’t count your pucks before they’re dropped.

I’ve checked with some of my hockey sources and nobody has heard of even the slightest possibility of the AHL putting a hockey team in Pasadena, Texas. Sure, there’s been talk of Sugar Land being the home of a AHL team since the Houston Aeros split for Iowa. But nobody with whom I talked had heard even the silliest of rumors about a hockey team in Pasadena.

Of course, AHL would love to put a team back in the Houston area. The Aeros were a successful franchise with decent attendance and a loyal fanbase. Two major airports made travel within the league easy, and it made it really easy to get players up to the parent teams. And a new team here would work well with the franchises in San Antonio and Austin.

But the discussions I’ve heard always revolve a team back in Houston at Toyota Center — which won’t happen as long as Les Alexander runs the arena (there are a lot of bad feelings around the AHL and the NHL arising from Alexander’s treatment of the Aeros). Placing a team at the NRG Arena is also not possible as long as the team has to spend large parts of February and March on the road became of the rodeo.

The talk has been centered around Sugar Land because that is where the Aeros practice facility was located. Sugar Land is also home of the Sugar Land Skeeters and has shown a willingness to embrace a minor league franchise. But it lacks the one thing most needed by any AHL hockey team, an arena.

There’s more, and author John Royal goes into the usual reckoning about publicly-financed stadia being a very bad deal for the public. He also suggests that the AHL might have been looking at the other Pasadena – you know, the one in California – which would be both hilarious and kind of sad if true.

As for soccer, we’re obviously talking the indoor version, and there are a couple of options. Whether they’re any more realistic or not, I couldn’t say. Beyond that, I echo Royal’s concern about the finances of this kind of thing and hope that the Pasadena Council does its due diligence.

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One Response to Pasadena seeks hockey team

  1. Steven Pasadena says:

    This is one of those continual issues with developers, tax dollars, and something to do with their time. Since the Gilleys thing fell through this is the next best installment on that scheme theme. I am in favor of developments which make sense. A soccer field in this region makes sense. A hockey team not so much. Its like Pasadena has space, tax money, and unfortunately is hiring pitchmen with wild ideas. The development team from Second Century has a board that takes in Tax revenue and must do something with their time. So what better thing to do than to write feasibility studies and pay developers something no matter if anything happens or not. We as tax payers will foot the bill. If I was a developer, you get to bet that if a feasibility study happens–I win, if we get to do some construction–I win, if we get to actually develop the idea we Win…if the whole house of cards doesnt really matter because the developer is now out of the picture and on to another city to develop another scheme in another town. We do need visions and ideas but they also need to make sense and be regionally valid. The next Mayor will need to balance the pitchmen so we get valid ideas that make sense for our community. We dont need the equivalent to a Jamacian Bobsled team as our best idea. The Hockey team comes in second to a Gilleys in my opinion…just a reminder Pasadena didnt run Gilleys out of town..He did try a restaurant several years back. I guess the citizens forgot how that failed..His business accumen is very questionable…nostalgia is one sense and responsiblity is another.

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