Flying Aces to delay home opener due to arena work

Grossinger Motors Arena
Grossinger Motors Arena continues with renovations that have delayed the Central Illinois Flying Aces’ home opener. (Photo courtesy Facebook/Central Illinois Flying Aces)

By WJBC Staff

BLOOMINGTON – The Central Illinois Flying Aces announced on Tuesday that its home-opening weekend on Oct. 13-14 will be rescheduled to allow for upgrades to the dasher board and glass system at Grossinger Motors Arena.

The Flying Aces will not play on Oct. 13, which was initially slated for the home opener, while the originally scheduled home game against the Green Bay Gamblers on Oct. 14 has been switched to a road contest at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

“We are pleased with the progress by the City of Bloomington and VenuWorks to find solutions to repair the current dasher board and glass system to meet USA Hockey and USHL standards,” Flying Aces Chief Operating Officer Brendan Kelly said. “We want to ensure that the world-class players of the Flying Aces and the entire USHL are competing in a premier facility that provides the safest and best playing conditions.”

The upgrades taking place over the coming weeks are part of a two-phase project. That first phase will bring the current system up to USHL and USA Hockey standards. The second phase of the project will take place later in the 2017-18 season and will involve the installation of a brand new dasher board and glass system.

“The safety of our players is and always will be our primary focus,” Head Coach and General Manager Mike Watt said. “They are on the verge of playing college hockey and in the NHL, and we need to make certain that they’re put in the best-possible playing environment.”

“We have plenty of other teams from the community who also use the arena ice,” Watt added. “This project is about providing the safest possible conditions for everyone who uses it, not just our team.”

The Flying Aces first two home games on Oct. 13-14 are currently the only games of the home schedule that will be affected by the upgrades.

The date of the new home opener along with the dates of the rescheduled games will be announced in the coming days.


In these troubled times, to my fellow white Americans

By Mike Matejka Our nation is at a unique watershed in human relations. African-Americans have been killed too many times in the past before George Floyd, but the response to this man’s death is international and all-encompassing. I was a grade-schooler during the Civil Rights 1960s. I watched Birmingham demonstrators hosed and the Selma – Montgomery…

Workers’ Memorial Day – Remember those whose job took their life

Looking around our community, when we say employer, most will respond to State Farm, Country, or Illinois State University.   We too often forget those who are building our roads, serving our food, or our public employees. COVID-19 has made us more aware of the risk.  Going to work every day for some people means…

Everyone counts and you could make the difference

By Mike Matejka How many federal dollars will there be for road repairs?  To feed hungry families?  How many Illinois representatives will there be in Congress?  Are Illinois communities going to get their fair share? There’s only one way to ensure our community gets treated properly – answer the census. The every ten year U.S. census,…

Reactions to the “A Community in Conflict” exhibit

By Mike Matejka Every community has its home-town pride; Bloomington-Normal is proud to claim Steak n’ Shake and MASH TV star McLean Stevenson.  We’ve also had a moment of contention and conflict.  Sometimes these are uplifting stories of human progress. At other times, they cause us to shake our heads and wonder why. The McLean…