City and county leaders gathered in Downtown Elmira Wednesday afternoon for a press conference in which President of Mammoth Sports & Entertainment Steve Donner announced that hockey will be returning to Downtown Elmira this year.
Donner said when searching for a team name, they looked for something that had a connection to the area as well as something bold. When they learned the name Chemung comes from the Seneca word for “big horn”, after mammoth tusks were found along the banks of the river, the mammoth was chosen as the team mascot.
The Elmira Mammoth will play in the Federal Prospects Hockey League, as did their predecessors, the Elmira Enforcers.
Donner said the FPHL has the most sustainable business model, key to keeping hockey in the area long term and that the league continues to grow. He also said the league gives fans fun, affordable entertainment.
“One thing I’ve learned since I’ve been here, is Elmira is a hockey town,” Donner said. He noted that before the team was even named, businesses throughout the community stepped up and raised over a half million dollars in corporate sponsorship.
Donner said that ticket prices will range between $12 to $18 dollars, but that for this season, children ages 12 and under will be admitted free with the purchase of an adult ticket.
The team will be searching for a head coach immediately, Donner said.
League commissioner Don Kirnan confirmed that the league is doing well and not only continues to grow but is also seeing increased attendance at games. He noted that despite rising costs, the FPHL is the only hockey league that has been able to break even, including the NHL. Kirnan also congratulated all involved for their efforts to reopen the arena.
“It’s an asset to the community… it looks a lot better when the building is occupied.”
Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell encouraged the public to get out and support the team.
“I’m so excited this arena is back,” he said.