GMB Panthers and National Ice Centre reach agreement for 2003/4 season

Wednesday, 13th August 2003

The GMB Nottingham Panthers and the National Ice Centre (NIC) are pleased to announce that arrangements have been agreed for the Panthers to play at the NIC this forthcoming season.

GMB Panthers Chairman, Neil Black said, "this is excellent news for all our fans, the finest ice hockey arena in the country will host the finest ice hockey club in the country. Now we can concentrate all our attention on the season ahead, which promises to be a very exciting one, with old rivalries rekindled and new ones about to kick off! In addition to having a core of last seasons playing squad, we are bringing in some outstanding new foreign players to play alongside the cream of home grown British talent. We are also delighted to announce that exclusive negotiations will be taking place shortly between the GMB Panthers and the National Ice Centre with a view to announcing the details of a new long term rental arrangement early in 2004."

Geoff Huckstep, Chief Executive of the National Ice Centre said, "The outstanding issues regarding financial security to the NIC have been agreed, and the concerns we have been expressing with regard to the Elite League's ability to manage the League on a day to day basis have been resolved in light of Mr. Black's confirmation of the affiliation to the English Ice Hockey Association. It has been our ultimate aim throughout these negotiations to ensure top-flight ice hockey continues at the NIC within a stable financial base. This will enable the Elite League to not only sustain itself but also to deliver its Development Plan which complements the extensive junior ice hockey programme already in place at the NIC".

A Phoenix spokesperson commented "It's great news for the Elite League, and the legion of fans who support our teams that the Panthers are back in the NIC. Games against the men on black and gold are always fiercely competitive and we expect nothing less this season. Nottingham will be one of the true contenders and Rick Brebant is relishing the thought of going head to head on a coaching front against Paul Adey."