Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Firland Management Teams Up With Maine Hockey Group And Portland Pirates

My Story from the Maine Hockey Journal

Press Release

Lewiston, Maine – Firland Management, the owner and operator of the Androscoggin Bank Colisee, today announced the establishment of a business relationship with the Maine Hockey Group (MHG) and the Portland Pirates of the American Hockey League (Pirates).

Lewiston has long been a great hockey town and home to generations of passionate hockey fans, coaches, players and families. Since the departure of the Lewiston Maineiacs, Firland has been seeking a hockey tenant and has been looking to expand its hockey programming. Firland, the Portland Pirates, and MHG have been working together to attempt to bring the highest level of Junior Hockey, the USHL, to the East Coast, which may be achievable for the 2013-14 season, requiring a significant capital investment.

MHG operates an ice arena and high performance practice and training facility in Saco, which will soon also become the official training and practice site for the AHL Pirates. In Saco, MHG operates highly successful youth hockey programs, including the Portland Junior Pirates and the Selects Hockey program. Firland and MHG have now partnered to bring these programs to the Colisee, with high level staffing, from learn to skate through all levels of youth hockey, in addition to a full range of camps, clinics and specialty programs to enhance the experience and add value to everyone participating in hockey in the future.

The Maine Hockey Group, Selects Hockey and the Portland Pirates know hockey and have a track record of success at the introductory, recreational, competitive, and professional level, in running successful youth and recreational programs, and in operating ice arenas, all under a single philosophy. MHG and the Portland Pirates see an expansion to Lewiston and the Colisee as a natural extension of their missions and as another opportunity to build on their success and to bring long-term stability and growth to hockey programs in Central Maine.

As well as assuming responsibility for youth hockey programs, MHG will take C5 Sports, its merchandise and hockey equipment business, to the Colisee at a future date. As the official merchandising partner of the Portland Pirates, C5 Sports provides quality equipment and apparel for both on and off ice needs and currently operates online (, in the Cumberland County Civic Center during Portland Pirates’ home games, and in the MHG Ice Centre in Saco, and will complement a top-notch program with top-notch equipment and services.

Essentially, operations will be unchanged at the Colisee, except that the Portland Pirates and MHG will bring their expertise in coaching and player development to the area’s youth hockey programs in addition to providing world class hockey entertainment, in the form of a select number of Portland Pirates AHL home games that will be taking place at the Colisee for the enjoyment of local fans beginning next season.

MHG and the Pirates intend this to be the beginning of a long-term relationship that will eventually lead to an investment in an ownership position in the Colisee to grow programs as conditions warrant. The three entities are dedicated to furthering the growth of ice hockey at all levels in the community and ensuring services remain consistent.

This relationship is based on a common desire to support not only the stability of the youth hockey program, but to help ensure that the Colisee as a venue for hockey and other sporting, entertainment and community events, such as concerts, trade shows, and graduations, continues to satisfy community needs and increases business in Lewiston. Firland Management is pleased to announce this partnership and is confident that this new relationship will be beneficial to both the Lewiston/Auburn region and the Pirates/MHG Partnership.

(Nathan can be reached at

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