Minor League Hockey Could Come to Casper in 2015

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Casper -(KCWY) "I think if you don't like to play it, it’s fun to watch anyways,” said Casper Mayor Paul Meyer.

Hockey enthusiasts, get ready, city officials plan to bring a semi-pro hockey team to Casper by next year.

"Without ice sitting there on the floor it is really hard to make promises to these owners and franchise people,” said Meyer.

So now the city's plan is to install ice first, this summer to attract a team and get them skating on it.

"To have forty evenings a year, a winter, taken up by something that is fun and entertaining would really benefit this community,” said Casper city manager John Patterson.

City officials estimate the rink will cost more than two-and-a-half million dollars to install.
Former congressman John Wold had donated one million dollars to bring hockey to the city of Casper with a deadline of March 31st, but he's since dropped that condition.

"It will help youth development; it will help the college get a collegiate ice hockey team,” said Patterson.

It couldn't come at a better time.

"Our current ice rink is kept busy from four in the morning to eleven and twelve o clock at night. You have to schedule months and months in advance even for moments out on that ice,” said Meyer.

City officials say that hockey is growing in popularity in Casper and that a new ice arena will help with the demand and pressure that has been put on the Casper Recreation Center.

“We need to develop something that keeps us happy 8 months out of the year, I got cabin fever big time this year,” said Meyer.

"We have had some discussions with prospective owners and each time we get close they talk about the ice at the events center and they wonder about our equipment, so let’s get ice on the floor and then we'll get a hockey team,” said Patterson.