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Monday, November 20, 2006

Some drama in Cudahy (and Tucson, and for Blue Line)

UPDATE: Added a link confirming Tucson's status for the remainer of this season. In addition, Group Ice has now been removed from control of Ridglea Iceland in Fort Worth.

In the past there have been stories concerning proposed USHL or NAHL teams playing in the suburban Milwaukee city of Cudahy. These stories center around the construction of the Powerade IcePort, a 35 acre five-sheet complex. If you'll recall, construction efforts stalled as the developers ran out of money.

Well, things are getting messy.

A couple of reference points to mention here outside of Wisconsin. The article mentions that Branovan and Group Ice were kicked out of managing a rink in Tucson. This rink happens to be the home of the WSHL Tucson Tilt, but evidence suggests that the owners are keeping the rink open and that the Tilt's season is not in any danger.

The second reference point is (sound the alarms) Blue Line. Group Ice was the company most recently on the clock to purchase the cursed arena. Well, at some point this summer/fall, after the price had been negotiated down to $3 million, the deal fell apart. While it's hard to say if these three events (Cudahy, Tucson, and Blue Line) are related, it's both distressing and disappointing.

So what's next for Blue Line? Frost Bank is taking sealed bids by invitation only. Bidding will end on December 14th. This does open the possibility the facility could be available for a junior hockey team in time for the 2007-08 season. The place has been closed for 30 months now, however, and so I'm not holding my breath.

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Comments on "Some drama in Cudahy (and Tucson, and for Blue Line)"


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:24 AM, November 21, 2006) : 

Again, why would anyone want BlueLine as a business? Who would skate there with all the repeated failiures and failed management. On Group Ice, they seem to only run small dirty old rinks, not the modern rink that is now in Dallas. I believe they run Ridglea, which is a hole in the wall....I hear MHOA (refs) will not work there due to conditions....


Blogger Marc Foster said ... (9:45 AM, November 21, 2006) : 

Actually, Group Ice was kicked out of Ridglea yesterday.

As for Blue Line, I think I've made it clear that whoever goes in there needs to bring and spend the money needed to make the facility successful. THAT was the problem. The initial cost overruns and associated debt payments killed any change of expending what was necessary on the operations side.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:52 AM, November 21, 2006) : 

Tough week...
You are probably right....Only the Stars have the ability to do that in this city, as they have the capital to invest if they wanted to....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (2:52 PM, November 21, 2006) : 

What a joke....So, while Sanderson, the BlueLine manager was professing to everyone that he was going to open up Blueline again--about 8-10 times now, he managed to lose another Group ice rink....You would have to hope the Tilt do get to finish there season...What a mess that would be if someone occurred. Like a soap opera....


Blogger Marc Foster said ... (3:16 PM, November 21, 2006) : 

Blue Line has never been Sanderson's to reopen. It's held by the bank and Sanderson is a consultant. The failed opportunities to reopen have been failures of the potential buyers. I posted the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article as a side story / background tangentially related to the most recent failed effort, tying it to Cudahy, Tucson, and now Fort Worth. Sanderson, as owner of Ridglea, did not lose Group Ice - Group Ice lost Ridglea, the same as they lost Tucson.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:32 PM, November 21, 2006) : 

So Sanderson got rid of Group Ice? I assume if he is the owner, he made this decision????


Blogger Marc Foster said ... (3:38 PM, November 21, 2006) : 



Anonymous Anonymous said ... (3:40 PM, November 21, 2006) : 

Interesting, as he was tight with them....


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:13 AM, November 22, 2006) : 

Group ice is a joke, they claim to have the world when they really don't have a pot to piss in. They screwed the community in tucson and sealed the fate of the hockey community. I really dont see the Tilt having a place to skate after the new year. The place looks like a ghost town the pro shop pulled out as well as the concession vendor. Ice hockey in Tucson is going to Die in the next few months.
Thanks to Scott Branovan a.k.a. LOSER


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:01 PM, November 22, 2006) : 

Sanderson dangled us Brahma fans and Blueline hopefuls. Please say its over Mike. Come On!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (9:07 PM, November 22, 2006) : 

I have heard Tucson is very slow and nothing occurs there....Wow....Sanderson and Group Ice....That should have been your Halloween scare MARC....
May be an easy road after all for Phoenix in the WSHL....
Also hear the Tilt had $$ money problems?????? Maybe a rumor only.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (10:16 PM, November 22, 2006) : 

It is obvious that a Jr B team does not control the fate of a rink....especially a 2 sheet rink. Sounds like Tucson had little to no youth or adult hockey, figure skating, public skating, etc....????
Group Ice, are they that bad?


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:41 AM, November 29, 2006) : 

Group Ice IS that bad. We got screwed down here in Tucson. Lots of money was coming in, yet we couldn't keep the doors open. You do the math.

Read the notice at Gives some insight- the ppl who actually own the property, not the mgmt company don't seem to want to breach any contract with the Tilt. There's always the Tucson Convention Center as a last resort for them too.

Just sucks to see what really was a STRONG skating community go up in smoke because of dishonest ppl at the helm.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (1:06 AM, November 30, 2006) : 

Been in this buisness for a long time years running faciliteis as well as a few years in the NHL and have never seen a company worse than Group Ice. They have a CEO (Scott Branovan)who claims to know everything, but has only been in this buisness 2 years. The only thing that they are good at is taking peoples money and not returning the product that they promised. Its a shame. There is a pattern here Cudahy, Tucson, Ridglea, and Blueline.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (11:37 AM, November 30, 2006) : 

well said. the whole organization is a joke. buying things with other peoples money. it looks like mr branovan is in more than on the surface. he just got a judgement against him in TX for several hundred thousand dollars. looks good on him.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (8:18 PM, December 01, 2006) : 

All these deals fell through becuase group ice is so far behind on its bills that new investors are paying for past debts not the current deals that the are believed to be investing in. The deals get negotioiated but when it comes time for group ice to put their money where their mouth is they never come through. sounds like a scam if ya ask me.


Blogger coach Steve F. said ... (10:50 PM, December 05, 2006) : 

You know we can blame Group Ice, we can blame Polar Ice, you can blame any body we want for Tucson Ice failing time and time again. We in Tucson looked for outside help all the time so now maybe we should stop and get together with the city of Tucson and make a plan to put single sheets of ice in all corners of Tucson and surounding cities and start a real hockey program and stop jerking everybody around. People say hockey in Tucson will never work,I say they are full of crap, nobody has ever realy tried. You know for 12 years there has been one twin ice in Tucson! Do you think football or basebal would survive with only one field? Do you think basketball would stick around with one court, I dont think so! Our colege team would have the fan attendence like the ice or even less and there would not be any NCAA in Tucson. Here is a reminder the ice cats been here for 28 year and counting and still fans show up. Granted not as many as the wild cats but could you imagine if we had as many kids playing hockey as we had football or even baseball. I can. Standing room only.


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