PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — There are renewed efforts to keep the Rivermen playing in the River City.
The team has been an attraction in the Peoria area for more than 40 years, but recent rumors of the team possibly leaving the area have been a huge blow to fans and management.
The team is not contracted beyond its current season.
“We’ve been here for 40 years we want to make sure we’re here another 40 years,” Bart Rogers, Chief Operating Officer and Owner of the Rivermen, said last December.
After months of “will they or won’t they stay,” it’s come out that Denis Cyr, Peoria’s 5th District Councilman, has been helping to secure funds to prevent the latter.
The idea is there are two big barriers standing in the way of the hockey team staying at the Peoria Civic Center for future seasons. One is a renewed contract and two is a repaired ice plant for the Civic Center, which would cost millions to do.
However, Emily Hagaman, who’s the wife of Rivermen captain Alec Hagaman and co-creator of the Facebook group “Operation Save The Rivermen,” said Cyr has been working behind the scenes to help the cause.
“He got us the money that we needed to pay for the ice plant, he got that given to the Civic Center with the stipulation that the ice plant needed to be taken care of which was huge,” Hagaman said. “But again, it’s extremely important that the contract gets signed and that they’re able to give the Rivermen something to kind of negotiate with.”
She said a signed contract would be the real goal and what’s truly needed to keep the team in the city.
When asked for comment on the topic, representatives for the Peoria Civic Center sent the following statement:
The Authority continues to analyze the capital needs and programming opportunities at the Civic Center and engage in discussions with stakeholders.