A Jacksonville Icemen hockey team affiliate completed the $6 million purchase of the Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex on March 15 as a $7.5 million incentive package to aid the deal nears a final City Council vote.
JICE LLC, managed by Icemen majority owner Andrew Kaufmann, bought the ice rink facility at 3605 Philips Highway from PSF I Jax Metro LLC, according to the Duval County Clerk of Court.
Records also show Kaufmann issued a $6.1 million mortgage to JICE LLC on March 15.
Team President Bob Ohrablo said Feb. 8 that the Icemen organization intended to buy the team’s practice facility and install a second full-size ice rink, a sports-themed restaurant and facilities to support youth and adult hockey programs.
A legislative summary filed with Council Ordinance 2021-0113 breaks down the $18 million project to $6.1 million for the property and business acquisition and $11.9 million for renovations.
Council is considering Icemen corporate arm SZH Hockey LLC’s request for a $6.5 million, 20-year construction loan at 3% interest and a $1 million completion grant to help finance the rink revamp.
The loan and economic development agreement would be with team subsidiary company Icemen Igloo LLC, city documents state.
Icemen representatives and administration officials say the deal would provide colleges in the North Florida region a home rink, create inner-city hockey and education programs and attract youth and adult hockey and figure skating tournaments from throughout the Southeastern U.S.
The Icemen would form partnerships with the city’s Parks and Recreation Department and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Florida to operate the hockey programs.
The Council Finance Committee voted 7-0 on March 16 to advance the legislation and the full Council could take a final vote at its March 23 meeting.
The bill was introduced Feb. 23 by Council President Tommy Hazouri on behalf of the mayor.
Kaufmann purchased SZH Hockey in 2019 from Al Acquisitions. The team also has a locally based investors group that includes former NFL and University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack.
The Sportsplex is part of San Marco East Plaza, which is west of Interstate 95 at Emerson Street.
Ohrablo said the Icemen, the ECHL affiliate of the NHL Winnipeg Jets, has been pursuing the deal for nearly two years.
The team uses the Sportsplex as a secondary practice facility when its home rink at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena is not available.
Ohrablo said buying and renovating the 103,570-square-foot Sportsplex will give the Icemen a permanent practice rink and corporate headquarters.
According to Ohrablo, SZH Hockey negotiated with former Sportsplex property owner, Dallas-based Prescott Group, and leaseholder Marc Scheff to acquire the facility and business for $6.1 million.
The Prescott Group bought San Marco East Plaza, then called Metro Square, in 2019.
The Icemen have contracted Hollywood-based The Campol Consulting Group LLC to help develop the facility, according to Ohrablo. The firm helped plan the Florida Panthers IceDen in Coral Springs.