London 2012 expert helping to bring Ice Hockey back to Manchester City Centre

Thursday, 30th April 2015

Red Hockey director Paul Baker will use his experience in organising the London 2012 Olympics to bring senior ice hockey back to Manchester city centre.  

The club unveiled plans for a new 3,000-seater ice arena, with Olympic-sized ice pad this week, after seven years at a temporary facility in Altrincham.

It is hoped the venue, which will be located within the city centre area, could become a standard-bearer for similar facilities across the country.  

Mr Baker’s role as Chief Logisitics Advisor at London 2012 brought him into regular working contact with some of the biggest names and governing bodies in world sport and he is looking to use that influence in building Manchester’s English Premier League team a brand-new home.

He said: “Manchester has some world-class facilities, including the arena where the Storm played. Why wouldn’t we want to take the Phoenix back to where it belongs - in the centre of Manchester? 

“The plans we have for the 3,000-seater arena will bring ice hockey back into the public consciousness in Manchester. It will be the place the club can finally call home.​"  

The new arena will be the culmination of close working relationships with the council and developers.

Mr Baker added: “There are many developers interested in working with us, they have seen our vision for professionalising ice hockey and trust us to enter into an ice rink development plan that will house state of the art facilities. 

“What's kind of interesting is that there are two major developers I have worked with before that are based in Manchester. Given the situation, it means a new facility for Manchester Phoenix is already in progress.”