MACON, Ga. – Since the team’s arrival, the Macon Mayhem have returned hockey to the Macon Coliseum, giving central Georgia a strong helping of the thrills of victory or agonies of defeat.
The Mayhem will now continue to do that even longer following Tuesday’s announcement by the team that its owners Bob and Diane Kerzner have signed a five-year contract extension with the Macon Coliseum and Spectra Venue Management.
For starters, it’s tremendous news for Macon’s fans. It’s a group of die-hards that have been cultivated over the previous four-plus years, and with five more years of hockey at the Macon Coliseum, the ground is fertile for that base to grow.
There’s no way around sugarcoating it — Macon is challenged by the fact that it’s a non-traditional hockey market. When people attend games over a span of time, the awareness builds, and so does hearing about the team even in passing. Not to mention the fact that as kids in the region grow up, exposing them to hockey is a tremendous way to grow the sport, not to mention fans of the Mayhem.
With a five-year extension, Macon has just that.
The new longevity does not hurt either.
For various reasons, pro sports franchises have not lasted long in Macon in recent years. In hockey alone, the Macon Whoopee lasted six seasons, being in town from 1996 to 2002 in combined CHL and ECHL tenures. The Trax lasted from 2002 to 2005 in three different leagues.
Since baseball’s Macon Braves departed following 2002, there has been a dearth of professional sports in the city. Two teams from independent leagues — the Macon Music and Macon Pinetoppers — lasted just a year, although the Macon Bacon of the Coastal Plain League, a summer collegiate league, is entering year three.
Toss in forays that also have included the af2’s Macon Knights lasting from 2001 to 2006, and the Mayhem is well-positioned to be a significant part of the pro sports scene for the long haul.
With the sixth year and more to come now in line for the Mayhem, the die has been cast – hockey in Macon is here to stay for the foreseeable future.
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