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NHL LINKS WITH FAMILY ICE ENTERPRISES TO DEVELOP NHL SKATE
Published May 19, 1998
The NHL has formed a partnership with Family Ice Enterprises, LLC, an affiliate of Mentmore Holdings Company, on the development and construction of NHL Skate ice and in- line hockey facilities. Family Ice Enterprises will have the exclusive right to develop NHL-themed ice and in-line facilities and entertainment centers in the U.S. Mentmore Vice Chair William Remley said construction of the first rinks will begin this spring, with plans to develop more than 100 rinks across the country. The first two sites targeted for the development include Exeter, NH, and St. John, IN. Plans for NHL Skate include two regulation-sized ice sheets with combined seating for 1,000 spectators, eight NHL-themed locker rooms, an NHL FANtasy zone, a food court and retail component. Each facility will include programs for youths, adults, public skating, instructional programs and various NHL-themed events. The league has named Mighty Ducks G Guy Hebert and U.S. women's gold medal winner Karyn Bye as spokespeople for the facilities. Two NHL Skate facilities currently operate under separate owners. The first opened in Birch Run, MI, in '97 and was developed via a licensing agreement with Signature Sports. A facility in Danbury, CT, expected to open this fall, is being developed by Arc (NHL). MORE ICE, ICE, BABY: The facilities are expected to cost between $6-7M each and NHL Senior VP Steve Solomon said that Family Ice and the league will work together on potential sites: "We have certain hockey knowledge. They have certain real estate knowledge. In the final analysis, I think we'll mutually agree on sites." Solomon said he was "hopeful we can get at least 10 [complexes] done in the next couple of years. And from that, we'll be able to see how fast we can move to the next level" (Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, 5/19). FRIENDS, NOT RIVALS: NHL Enterprises currently has a relationship with another Mentmore affiliate, Rival Sports, the company backed by the Red Wings' Brendan Shanahan, which designs and markets hockey branded apparel (NHL).