The Indiana Ice will not participate in the 2014-15 season, the USHL announced Sunday.
With the addition of teams this fall in Madison, Wis., and Bloomington, Ill., the USHL will have 17 teams next season.
Ownership of the Ice, working with the Office of the Commissioner and the USHL Executive Committee, requested and received approval from the USHL Board of Directors for the temporary withdrawal from on-ice competition in order for the organization to focus on development of new facility and permanent home for the USHL Member Club in the Indianapolis area.
Over the past two seasons, the Indiana Ice have split their home games between the Bankers Life Fieldhouse and Pan Am Plaza in downtown Indianapolis. The League and the Ice concluded that temporary arrangement no longer satisfied either the standards of USHL hockey, or the best interests of the Member Club and its players.
“Bankers Life Fieldhouse is a beautiful, multi-purpose arena and home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers, but based on its annual calendar of events, it does not allow for a full home schedule of 30 dates that meets the parameters of a USHL schedule,” said Skip Prince, USHL President and Commissioner. “The Ice and the League schedulers have for the past two seasons placed a number of games at Pan Am Plaza, but notwithstanding of that building’s history and location, it does not comply with League standards.”
The Indiana Ice were uprooted from their original home, the Pepsi Coliseum, following the 2011-12 season as that arena underwent an extensive renovation by the Indiana State Fair Commission. The Ice had played at the arena on the Indiana State Fairgrounds since joining the USHL in 2004.
The Indiana Ice will issue a full release at the conclusion of the playoffs.
The Ice will not participate in the upcoming 2014 USHL Draft. Players on the current team eligible to return to the USHL next season, and players from the team’s affiliate list, will be part of a dispersal draft by the other USHL Member Clubs that will take place after the conclusion of the playoffs.
The Ice will face the Waterloo Blackhawks in the Clark Cup finals. Previously, the Ice defeated the Green Bay Gamblers in the first round of this year’s playoffs.