Coliseum Looks for Extra Income with Loss of Hockey Team

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Every hockey season, the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center could count on fans coming to almost 30 games, but with the loss of the Mississippi Surge, the Coliseum will have to find new ways to fill those dates.

Last year, the Surge hockey team played 28 home games at the Coliseum. That was 28 days of revenue including rent, tickets, parking, and concessions which the Coliseum will have to do without this year. Chris Spear, Event Marketing for the Coliseum, says, “It is significant. We are always happy when we have hockey in the building, but it does give us time to focus on the other full slate of events we have coming up.”

Officials with the Coliseum tell News 25 attendance at games last year was dwindling and revenue from the team barely offset the cost of maintaining an ice rink during the season, but hockey was an important part of the Coliseum. Spear also says, “It’s nice to have sports. This is built as a sports arena in part, so we enjoy working with them. We think they’re an advantage to the Coast and the Coliseum.”

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With the absence of hockey this year, Coliseum officials say they’re working aggressively to bring in more events and make up for any lost revenue. In particular, the Coliseum is booking events when hockey was normally played, such as the Lego Creativity Tour, Pathways to Possibilities, and a high school hoops fest.

Spear also says, “We are building in more weekend events so we will have a full slate there, but we are also working with our convention center side to build other week day events to help offset that.”

Officials tell News 25 they’ve been working behind the scenes to bring back hockey next year. Spear closes, “I think it’s something we could have if we really pushed to do it this year, we could have, but it’s better to sit back and retool everything and comeback stronger next year.”

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