Soccer-Style Venture Indoor Team May Find Home in Town

By Thomas, Bob | The Florida Times Union, April 26, 1996 | Go to article overview

Soccer-Style Venture Indoor Team May Find Home in Town


Thomas, Bob, The Florida Times Union


TALLAHASSEE -- Jacksonville has been targeted as a potential

home for a professional indoor soccer team in a league that is

scheduled to make its debut in June 1997.

Officials from the Tallahassee-based Eastern Indoor Soccer

League (EISL), which was unveiled last week, have pitched the

idea of a Jacksonville franchise to Spectacor Management, which

operates the Jacksonville Coliseum, and Larry Lane, general

manager of the East Coast Hockey League's Lizard Kings.

"We've actually targeted a number of cities," said Ron Spencer,

one of the EISL founders. "Jacksonville is certainly a city

we're interested in."

Spencer, director of the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center,

met with Michael Ahearn of Spectacor and Lane in January during

the ECHL AllStar break in Tallahassee.

"I feel very good about the possibility of a franchise moving

into the area," Ahearn said. "There is interest out there. From

the facilities standpoint, we're always interested in maximizing

the occupancy of the facility."

Spencer and EISL co-founder Walt Edwards, general manager of

the ECHL Tallahassee Tiger Sharks, are targeting many of the

same markets and ownership groups in the Southeast where ECHL

franchises have been successful. They hope to have 10 to 12

franchises in place by the end of October.

Tallahassee and Lafayette, La., home to the ECHL

attendance-leading Louisiana IceGators, already have been

awarded franchises for the first season.

"I think most facilities are certainly interested in adding to

the summertime business," Spencer said. …

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