Operators of The Colisee have responded to last week’s story of the arena and the Maine Principals’ Association not coming to an agreement for various boys and girls high school hockey playoff games to be played at the arena in Lewiston.
The decision came down to how ticket sales would be shared, according to a press release sent out last Thursday by The Colisee. The MPA wanted to keep all the ticket revenue, but the arena wanted a piece of the pie.
“They (the MPA) stated that our request for $2/$3 of their $10 ticket sale was a deal-breaker, and they would only pay the cost of ice rental hours,” the press release stated. “Unfortunately, this is contrary to established venue business models, and frankly an obvious and historically losing financial situation for the arena. We were therefore unable to accommodate their mandate. We sincerely apologize to the community for this, but will continue to do our best to improve our fan experience, our Maine nationally bound academy 18u teams, and our NAHL Nordiques Marquee Team (2021 NAHL East Division Champions/Robertson Cup Semifinalists).”
The Colisee is owned by Darryl Antonacci, who purchased the arena in March of 2020, and he is also the owner of the Maine Nordiques organization, which includes teams at the junior and midget hockey levels.
Maine Nordiques organizational general manager Eric Soltys said on Tuesday that The Colisee has no further comment regarding the high school hockey playoffs.
The MPA has held the boys state championship games at The Colisee since 1994 and the girls state championship game since 2009.
The MPA, in a bulletin updated on Nov. 22, said the boys state championship game set for March 12 is TBD (to be determined) while the girls state game will be played Feb. 19 at Troubh Ice Arena in Portland.
Troubh will host the girls regional finals on Feb. 16. It also hosted the 2020 regional finals.
There are other neutral-site playoff games that also have been affected. The boys Class A semifinals, which also have been at The Colisee for the past decade, are listed as TBD. The games are scheduled for March 8.
The Class B South regional final will be moving from Lewiston to Troubh Ice Arena, according to the MPA bulletin. The game is set for March 9.
The Class A quarterfinals and Class B South regional semifinals, which usually are in Lewiston, will now be at the home ice of the higher seeds on either March 4 or 5.
In an email to the Sun Journal earlier this month, MPA Executive Director Mike Burnham said they are still finalizing playoff sites and had no further comment until everything has been decided.