Hockey returns to the Gulf Coast with a special guest

Hey all you cool cats and kittens, big cat lovers are in for a unique surprise at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum starting tomorrow as hockey makes a comeback.

Two teams from out of state will meet on the neutral site Thursday as a special guest makes his way through the audience.

It’s been nearly a decade since professional hockey had a place on the Coast. Thursday night, blades will cut across fresh ice, with hopes of making the comeback permanent. The game won’t be the only diversion Thursday night. Enter Vegas Joe, impersonating Joe Exotic of ‘Tiger King’ fame. He’ll be interacting with the audience throughout the match, posing for photos and teasing spectators. “Hey Joe’s a hockey fan. Because there’s some big strong men rolling around out here on the ice. Fightin’ each other, rollin’ around — that excites me. Ha!”

Hosting a neutral site for teams from Michigan and Georgia is the first step for Biloxi to becoming a fixture in the hockey world. Biloxi Pro Hockey COO Joe Pace said, “The goal is for these games to be so successful that the coliseum staff and the executives down here are all in favor of bringing a team back, because we are 100 percent in favor of bringing a team back to the Coast.”

Kory Dumond, the association’s VP of sales and a self-described hockey guy, told News 25 about what draws crowds to these games. “The community has always had a desire for something other than the traditional sports. Something different, something that the whole family can enjoy. Something that’s going to put you on the edge of your seat, and that’s ice hockey.”

Organizers say that if the Coast wants hockey to stick around town, then you’d better show up. “These three games are deciding factors so the Coliseum will make a decision after the third game and we would be starting next October if everything goes well.”

“We’re also going to have a Carol Baskin lookalike contest. You know that … woman down in Florida, I don’t really like her much, but some of these people do and they’re cool cats and kittens and they can win big prizes just by looking like that woman.”

Tickets can be reserved online at mscoastcoliseum.com. Matches are also set for Dec. 17 and 30.

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