City unlikely to build an arena for Brahmas

Posted Friday, Jun. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Mark an “x” through the box on one option for the Fort Worth Brahmas.

The minor league hockey team, on at least a one-year hiatus from the Central Hockey League, wants an entity such as a municipality to build it a new arena that the team would occupy in partnership.

“I don’t envision Fort Worth building an arena and then leasing it to the Brahmas, or any other minor league team, to operate,” Kirk Slaughter, Fort Worth’s public events director, said Friday.

“If and when a new arena ever gets built in Fort Worth, and if it’s got ice floor capabilities, which I would expect it to have,” a team such as the Brahmas could consider renting the arena “based on dates that are available,” he said.

Fort Worth is interested in building a new arena in the Will Rogers Memorial Center that could absorb more horse shows and serve as a venue for concerts, ice-related events and a circus, Slaughter said. But that won’t happen soon.

“I think you’re looking at the next four or five years trying to get something done,” he said.

The Brahmas went on hiatus for the upcoming season after the team’s owner defaulted on money it owned to the team’s former owner, Stuart Fraser, who sold the team last year.

The team reverted to Fraser’s ownership after the end of the most recent season. Mike Barack, the franchise president, said this week that the team needs a new venue similar to the 6,000-square-foot city-owned one that a CHL franchise operates in in Allen.

“There’s no set pattern” to the kind of potential arrangement that could be struck, Barack said Friday. “The main thing is that it be a venue that would be economically viable within Tarrant County.”

“We don’t expect anything within the next year,” Barack said. “Within the next couple of years we’re hoping we’ll get an opportunity within Tarrant County.”

The Brahmas played the last season mostly at the 2,500-seat NYTEX Sports Centre in North Richland Hills,with a small number of dates at the Fort Worth Convention Center. But the convention center and Will Rogers Coliseum have scant availability, and Barack said the team isn’t interested in an interim situation.

Scott Nishimura, 817-390-7808 Twitter: @JScottNishimura

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