Ice Hockey Likely to Return to Coast This Fall

Good news for hockey fans, ice hockey will likely be back for the 2015-16 season. News 25 caught up with the man behind the curtain who is diligently working to bring pucks and skates back to the Coast.

It’s rough, it’s tough, and it’s coming back to the Coast. President and General Manager of South Mississippi Hockey, Andy Makal, has been working tirelessly since the Surge folded to keep professional hockey in Biloxi and is confident it will be a reality this fall. Makal says, "We’ve put together an organization that’s basically ready to go. It’s a turnkey operation, just getting everything in place."

The team is in the midst of talks with local investors. Once local ownership support is finalized, South Mississippi Hockey can then turn to the Southern Professional Hockey League for approval. Local hockey fans couldn’t be happier. Richard Coyne, a hockey fan, says, "I’m elated that it’s coming back. It’s an exciting game, it’s an exciting sport, and it’s something really for the whole family to come out and enjoy."

Management tells News 25 this process extends beyond the game. By bringing hockey back, we can bring people of the Coast something more than just a new home team to root for. Makal says things will be different this time around, fostering more community involvement. Makal also says, "I think at the end of the day, it’s not about hockey. It’s about entertainment. It’s about finding other family friendly things to do on the Coast in the winter time."

In addition to games, South Mississippi Hockey will support a youth hockey program as well as a longer public ice skating season. While a name and mascot for the team hasn’t been publically released, Makal says to expect a patriotic theme.

Plans are also in the work to lower season ticket prices and include parking in that package. Thursday evening, Makal and South Mississippi Hockey will meet with potential investors at Negrotto’s Art Gallery in Biloxi at 5 p.m.

Categories: Local News, News, Sports

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