The city of Athens is on the brink of hosting UGA Hockey games. The Athens-Clarke County Board of Commissioners voted to approve backing the funding of a proposal by the Classic Center of Athens which includes the purchase of portable ice rink and seating equipment. The other major component of the proposal is to fund expansion of needed parking at the Classic Center. The approval vote paves the way for UGA Hockey games to be played in Athens, but the timing of when those games might begin remains uncertain. Final funding approval must be completed before any equipment can be purchased. Sources indicate that hockey games could be played in Athens as early as this winter. “The Classic Center is an ideal location for UGA Hockey home games,” an elated head coach John Hoos expressed following the BOC vote. “We thank the Mayor and Commission for their support and hope that the funding approval is seamless – we look forward for the opportunity to hold games in Athens as soon as possible. Bringing hockey games to downtown Athens will allow walking distance access for most of the students at UGA, and easy accessibility for Athens families and surrounding community – it is a win-win for everybody.” Fans have been quick to express their support and enthusiasm for the vote approval, and a flurry of activity on social media has already been seen. The website for the UGA Hockey Foundation, the support body and booster club administrative branch for the team, has already seen posts from supporters as well. Foundation President David Brooks, also an Athens business owner and lifetime resident, is confident that hockey games and other ice rink event will be popular in Athens. “UGA Hockey games are so exciting, and Athens families will latch on to the team pretty quickly,” Mr. Brooks commented. “And having the ice rink and seating will allow so many other events to come to Athens that right now we don’t have, that will bring alot of money into our economy here in Athens.”
The proposal passed by a vote of 6-3 in favor. One BOC member not in attendance at the meeting had previously expressed support for the proposal at the August 20 Commission work session, which ostensibly would have given a 7-3 vote in favor of the proposal.