Bringing An Ice Rink To Gainesville, Florida

Bringing An Ice Rink To Gainesville, Florida

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Jackson Budd started this petition to Investors

Between the metropolitan areas of Jacksonville and Tampa lies a void of nearly 185 miles with no access to an ice rink. Despite this, there continues to be an untapped market for such an ice rink in the city of Gainesville. The University of Florida is home to a growing Division II Ice Hockey program, as well as 52,000 students between the ages of 18-24. A rink’s development in this void would lack competition as the nearest competitor is at least 90 minutes in every direction.

An Ice Rink would attract customers to Gainesville and the ice rink similarly to the way Daytona and Orlando pull people from outside the city for their respective rinks. Gainesville’s average youthful population makes it a prime candidate for a rinks development with potential for profitable public skating events, youth and adult hockey programs, University of Florida Greek life events and much more.

Currently, Florida is the fastest growing market for ice hockey in the United States. In 2020, USA Hockey reported 16,956 player registrations. In 2010, there were a reported 10,856 registrations, marking a 56.2% increase in USA Hockey player registrations in the last decade alone. Along with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup victory in 2020, the team has provided local schools in the Tampa Bay area with street hockey equipment and life lessons to encourage the youth to fall in love with the sport. In 2015, The Tampa Bay Lightning, in conjunction with the National Hockey League (NHL) and the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), announced  that they would invest more than $6 million over the next five years to grow the game of hockey and teach life skills lessons to Tampa Bay's young people.

The future for Florida Hockey is entirely dependent on a Gainesville rink. With the development of a rink, the University of Florida Hockey team would have home games that would be convenient enough for hundreds of fans to attend. With a greater fan presence within the school for more funding through avenues such as merchandise and through the school and more recognition.

The more recognition and funding the school gives Florida Hockey the better the program will become. As the program becomes better the team could potentially become the southern most Division 1 Hockey team and compete at the highest level like the rest of the University of Florida athletic teams. A Gainesville rink would undoubtedly profit from the success of a better Florida Hockey team through team outreach programs, games, merch being sold at the pro shop, and sponsorships of the home rink of the Florida Gators.

If you have any questions or want to know how you could support even more please contact me at Jacksonbudd@ufl.edu 

Thank you!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 2,500!
At 2,500 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!