COLUMBUS, Ga – The return of professional hockey to the city of Columbus is one step closer to becoming a reality. Burn Entertainment LLC received approval on a five-year lease with the Columbus Civic Center on Tuesday.
New York based real estate developer Fidel Jenkins plans to bring a new franchise, the Columbus Burn, to compete in the Southern Professional Hockey League. The next step for Jenkins is to get approval from the SPHL for the Columbus franchise.
SPHL president Jim Combs tells News 3 those negotiations are currently underway. The Columbus Burn would fill the void left by the Columbus Cottonmouths, who ceased operations in June, after providing professional hockey in Columbus for 21 seasons.
Jenkins first presented his proposal to potential sponsors in a closed-door session at the Civic Center on June 21, before revealing the plan to the media later that day. The plan calls for the new hockey franchise to sit out the 2017-18 SPHL season and begin play in the 2018-19 season.
The lease agreement approved by the city is good through 2022, with a mutual option for renewal. It is similar in structure to the lease the Cottonmouths operated under. The Burn will pay $3,000 per game for use of the facility.