The future of Elmira’s First Arena is in jeopardy. A proposed sale might not happen because of a disagreement between the Chemung County’s Industrial Development Agency and the City of Elmira.
WSKG’s Sarah Gager and Gabe Altieri discuss the cause of the disagreement and what might happen now.
On First Arena’s ownership history:
“Back in June, the Chemung Industrial Development Agency bought the arena. It was supposed to be a temporary thing, as it looked for a new owner. It found one, but didn’t say who. Now, the deal with that owner is in jeopardy and the IDA is running out of money to keep the arena open.”
On the disagreement:
“One piece of equipment that needs upgrading is an ice plant. That will cost $1.5 million. The plan was to split the cost of that ice plant evenly between Elmira and the Chemung County IDA. Elmira was also asked to pay another $700,000 dollars due at the end of the Elmira Jackals hockey season. The Jackals play their home games at the arena. Elmira City Manager Michael Collins said the city never agreed to pay those costs, only to talk about it. The city council decided not to pay either and that’s why there’s trouble now.”
On the affect closing the arena has downtown:
“Elmira won 10-million dollars from the state to build up it’s downtown. Mike Krusen, President of the IDA, said December that keeping the arena open was crucial to the success of the revitalization.”