Supporters of Texas Tech Hockey and the extracurricular programs it supports, filled Lubbock City Hall Monday afternoon to ask city leaders to keep the ice at City Bank Coliseum. On Thursday, the council voted not to accept a new, revised contract with the team, essentially shutting down the only ice skating rink in Lubbock.
Monday's meeting brought players, parents, fans, and more to plead before two members of the Lubbock City Council, Linda DeLeon and Floyd Price. "I want to also tell you that the rest of the council was invited to be here, and as you can see, the only two that showed up were us," DeLeon said.
"Well, I was not there because it was first couched as a city council meeting, and of course it was called illegally, so I chose not to attend," Lubbock City Councilman Paul Beane said.
"These are the finest young men I have ever had the privilege to work with," TTU Hockey Academic Coach Dr. Victoria McClure said. She says the team averages about 1,500 fans per game, over 40 participants in youth hockey, and 15 participants in the skating school, all with no advertising.
McClure says that averages out to about $9.48 per day for a 20-week season. "How many programs cost that little and yield that much," McClure asked.
"One of the reasons of doing away with the program that Floyd and I both heard was that it didn't pay for itself. So, we're about $4,000 short," DeLeon said. "The land lord has to be able to recover the cost of the facility first and in this case be able to generate revenue to be able to make improvements to that facility," Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin said.
"Look at Meadow Brook Golf Course, they owe the city a ton of more money, and I don't see anyone trying to close them down," one supporter said. Mother Lucy Reynolds brought several members of the youth hockey league to the meeting; her speech brought tears to some members eyes. "It is very hard for me to tell them that they will not have hockey," Reynolds said.
"That's more than a rink to us; it's our home. I don't understand why they want to take that away from us," TTU Hockey Player Cole Kamp said.
"The coach had a two year option, and he failed to exercise those options. The fact that he keeps telling people that the city of Lubbock canceled his contract is simply not true," Beane said.
Councilwoman DeLeon says this issue will be put on the agenda for reconsideration at the October 9th city council meeting. NewsChannel 11 will keep you updated on any new developments.
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