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Iceplex in the News

04/07/2013, 12:45pm EDT
By iceplex news

New Name for Ice Arena at MCC - News 10 NBC

If your kids play hockey or you like ice sports in Rochester, you will have to get used to a new name for the ice arena at MCC.

News10NBC learned Friday morning that Bill Gray’s has signed a 30-year agreement for naming rights to the facility formerly known as the Sports Centre at Monroe Community College. It will be known as the "Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex".

Bill Gray’s will continue its lease for the restaurant, tap room, snack bar and Abbott’s Frozen Custard for the next 30 years Director of Programming and Marketing Chris Woodworth said, “We're extremely ecstatic to have them as a partner but it also speaks volumes about what we're doing here at the facility now."

The Amerks and several college and youth hockey teams practice on the rinks at the arena. Birthday parties and tournaments are big draws as well.

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New Name and New Ownership for Former MCC Sports Centre - YNN News?

"We have pickup hockey, open skate during the afternoon," said Chris Woodworth, director of programming and marketing. "We have collegiate practices around 2 or 3." Once five o'clock rolls around, it's youth and adult hockey for the entire night." That's not even counting the tournaments, club hockey games and field trips. "It's just jam-packed hockey from 6 a.m. until about one or two in the morning."

And now there's something new at the ice rinks formerly known as the Sports Centre at MCC. New ownership. "It's a bright future." And a new name means a new beginning for the often-troubled 15-year-old facility, which will now be known as the Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex. "So that is very, very positive. It enhances everything we can do in the community and what we have to offer."

The 30-year naming deal with restaurant franchise Bill Grays comes a day after the finalization of a sale of the rinks to Florida-based End2End Sports, which has been managing the facility since the fall. End2End also reached a deal with property owner MCC on a 30-year-lease; a deal expected to bring stability.

"The geographical location of Rochester is a huge part of that. We are within a six-hour drive of every major hockey city in the United States." The Sports Centre hasn't had a sponsored name since 2009. That's when ESL dropped it's name sponsorship, but that, in recent years, has been the least of this facility's worries. Since it was built for $13 million, The Monroe Community Sports Centre Corporation, the non-profit which oversaw the rinks, came under fire for, among other things, defaulting on bond payments, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and missing rent payments while making political contributions.

"Any time the county's involved, politics become involved. That's just the nature of what we do," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. Brooks says private ownership will be good for the Iceplex, which draws tens of thousands of people to the region each year. "We made the commitment, either we support it or we don't, and we've always supported it, in good times or bad. Now we've got some operators in there who are really making a commitment to turning it around," said Brooks.

"We believe actions speak louder than words, and all we do is work, work, work. We're forward-moving and we don't really even have time to think about the past," Woodworth said. Woodworth says more announced changes can be expected in the coming days and weeks; a further commitment to the future success of the place. "It is a forward moving thing, and we're very excited about this."

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Bill Gray's Secures Sports Centre Naming Rights - News 8?

It was announced Friday morning that Bill Gray's has secured the naming rights for the Sports Centre on the campus of Monroe Community College in Brighton. The popular Rochester restaurant chain signed a 30 year deal to have its name on the hockey facility. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. The facility will now be known as the Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex. As part of the agreement, the chain has also extended its restaurant lease within the facility for 30 years.

"We believe in the programs they have to offer, we're excited about them," said Bill Gray's Marketing Manager Holly Seiler. "They bring in kids ages five all the way up to adults and it's really a great enrichment for the community to have this facility here, so we're happy to be part of it."

Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex Programming and Marketing Manager Chris Woodworth also announced that the facility's new manager, End2end Sports, completed its purchase offer Thursday and signed a new 30 year ground lease with MCC. The moves bring some stability to a facility once troubled by mismanagement. "We're very forward thinking," said Woodworth. "We're very aggressive in some of the programming we're doing, and our who M-O here is to get children active, increase participatory ice sports here in the Rochester community."

Historically foot traffic at the facility has been about a million people each year. The new owners are hoping that number is about to go up. 

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Skating Facility at MCC Gets New Name - Rochester Business Journal

?The skating facility at Monroe Community College now is named Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex, the result of a 30-year naming rights agreement with the hometown hamburger chain, officials announced Friday. The contract includes extensions of lease agreements restaurant and with the Tap Room, Snack Bar and Abbott’s Frozen Custard for the next 30 years, officials said. The complex, built in 1998, had been named the Sports Centre at Monroe Community College.

“We’re very excited about the future of Bill Gray’s Regional Iceplex,” said Holly Seiler, the restaurant’s marketing and social media manager, in a statement. “We have enjoyed working with the team at the facility on upcoming programs and events, and look forward to a great partnership.”

The 170,000-square-foot facility includes four ice rinks, a hockey store, a coffee shop and the Xtreme Sight Performance Center. The Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League train there, and MCC, Nazareth College of Rochester and Rochester Youth Hockey are among the organizations that use the rinks.

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