By Bold City Battalion Staff
The Board of Governors of the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL) awarded a new franchise to Jacksonville, Fla., on February 1, 2023. The move expands the footprint of the USPHL Premier and Elite programs in Florida to a total of five teams. The announcement was made by the ownership group, led by Ron Kinnear, GM of the P.A.L. Jr Islanders and owner of the Florida Jr Blades, along with Kevin Miller, a motorsport executive and owner of the Florida Jr. Blades and in partnership with the Community First Igloo and Jacksonville Icemen of the ECHL.
The new USPHL Premier and Elite division teams based out of Jacksonville are scheduled to begin play in September 2023, in the newly remodeled Community First Igloo Ice Arena, the home of the ECHL Jacksonville Icemen and one of the most modern ice facilities in the Southeast United States. The rink features 2022 renovations including two NHL regulation size rinks, a 200-plus seat bar and restaurant, Haymaker Coffee Concession Stand, 2,000 sq. foot E-Sports gaming arena, 2,000-square ft Pro Shop & Team Store, and home of the Jacksonville Sports Hall of Fame.
The team will be named the BOLD CITY BATTALION, as Jacksonville is home to multiple military facilities – Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay nearby gives Jacksonville the third largest military presence in the country.
Bold City is a nickname for Jacksonville, and a popular local claim to the City being the largest City by land area in the U.S. in 1968.
Founded in 2012, the goal of the United States Premier Hockey League is to prepare and develop players for college hockey (and beyond) through a tiered development program. To date, the USPHL has sent more than 3,000 players to NCAA college hockey in its 10 years of existence.
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