NA3HL approves sale and relocation of Mountain Cats to Jamestown, NY
March 10, 2014
The North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) has announced that its Board of Governors has approved the sale and relocation of the Michigan Mountain Cats membership to Jamestown, New York, for the 2014-15 season. The Mountain Cats, who were based out of Fraser, Michigan, have played in the NA3HL since the 2010-11 season. The sale and relocation was also approved by USA Hockey during the Winter meetings back in January.
The yet-to-be-named team will play its home games out of the 2,000-seat Jamestown Saving Bank Arena in Jamestown, New York, which is located 75 miles southwest of Buffalo. The new ownership group is the Jamestown Area Hockey Association, LLC (JAHA), which is comprised of 12 local and prominent business, community and hockey leaders in Jamestown. The group is led by JAHA President Dr. Jim Cirbus.
“We are very pleased that hockey will be returning to the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena. There is a lot of work that has gone into making this a reality for the benefit of the community, especially with a local group of owners who live here and support the community on a personal and professional level,” states new JSBA General Manager, Brian Cersosimo. “Our junior program will available to high school students and graduates who seek a greater or more difficult challenge than that which might be available through their Prep School team, High school varsity or club team, or area Midget AAA teams. The principal purpose of this development program is to prepare the student athlete for career advancement either in a collegiate or professional opportunity, but more importantly preparing them for life.”
“Today's announcement represents the culmination of many hours of hard work with a dedicated group of local guys sharing a common vision of promoting hockey at all levels in the Southern Tier. Our organization's ultimate goal is to establish a successful high-level hockey program for the community to enjoy for many years to come. Hopefully this will be the catalyst to begin to utilize this wonderful ice arena the Gebbie Foundation has provided us to its full potential,” said Dr. Jim Cirbus, JAHA, LLC President.
The move will keep the team in the East Division and further expand the NA3HL footprint to now include the state of New York in addition to Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, which make up the other states in the division. “This move will further enhance the NA3HL brand and bring value to the league. While maintaining a strong footprint in Michigan, this relocation to Western New York provides hockey players an ideal platform and opportunity to develop and great entertainment for local fans,” said NA3HL President Mark Frankenfeld. “The relocation and sale is a very positive move for junior hockey in the area and will provide one of the best junior hockey options for Eastern players. This is just another example of the NA3HL improving each and every year and proving that it is a step above the rest.”
The team will play all of its home games out of the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena (JSBA). The JSBA has hosted various hockey teams, the last one playing in the NAHL from 2011-13, and has hosted major events such as WWE Wrestling and the Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular, televised on NBC. JSBA has two sheets of ice and seating capacity for over 2,600 on one sheet at 400 on the other. JSBA also has many other great features for entertainment, such as the Legends Club, Arena Club, OptiGolf and many more amenities. The pro shop will be able to meet all visiting team requirements and the staff of the JSBA is second to none.
JAHA was formed with the purpose of developing hockey in the Jamestown area to benefit both the student-athlete and the community as a whole. Their mission is to continually work towards keeping a hockey presence in the Jamestown community to insure that the community has an opportunity to watch, participate and support the sport of hockey, to insure that we have programs in place to promote the sport of ice hockey for the youth in the Jamestown community, to promote the personal character and athletic development of student-athletes who wish to excel at the highest level of hockey competition USA Hockey has to offer, to enhance player development by providing basic through advanced hockey education, physical training and community involvement, to provide the student-athletes an advanced hockey curriculum through top-level certified coaches that will keep those players constantly challenged, to assist and promote player advancement to the "next" level of hockey and education for each student-athlete and to build and maintain successful community involvement in the Chautauqua County Region