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ACHL team to get lease in mid-July

June 27, 2002


Hockey Stick -- Don't get CHECKED!

By Jack Corcoran

Bill Coffey, gambling that Tallahassee will embrace minor-league hockey the second time around, plans to place his bet July 12.

Coffey said Wednesday he will likely wait until then to sign a lease deal with the Civic Center, marking the occasion at a press conference in which he plans to introduce his staff and unveil the team's nickname and colors. One of the last hurdles - available office space - is no longer an issue, allowing the Atlantic Coast Hockey League founder and president to plan on opening up his franchise for business three days after he agrees to the three-year contract.

"I've told everybody I'm hiring that if you're not prepared to work six days a week, don't show up; you're not going to last," Coffey said from the league office in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. "We've got some catching up to do. We've done some preliminary corporate stuff. We haven't been sitting idle totally for six weeks, but it kind of slowed it down a little bit. But FSU, if they needed (the office space), they needed it."

Florida State's basketball staffs cleared out last week, moving into their new practice facility adjacent to the arena. Coffey had said he wouldn't sign the lease until the Tallahassee Tiger Sharks' old offices became available.

The Tiger Sharks, who belonged to the East Coast Hockey League, left town last summer after seven seasons. Their successors will face the same challenge of generating interest from fans and corporate sponsors.

"Let's just hope the people respond," Civic Center executive director Ron Spencer said Wednesday at the arena's monthly board meeting.


Hockey Stick -- Don't get CHECKED!