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Everblades, arena for sale

By Staff | May 1, 2013

Germain Arena and the ECHL defending Kelly Cup Champion Florida Everblades are being put up for sale by owner Peter Karmanos, who also owns the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes and is executive chairman of Compuware Corporation

Both the Everblades and the arena in Estero were founded in 1998.

“I am at a point in time where I want to simplify my life,” said Karmanos in a prepared statement. “While I have thoroughly enjoyed owning the arena and team and seeing the tremendous benefit they have been to the community, it is now someone else’s turn.”

“With the rapidly improving economy in Southwest Florida, this is an excellent time for someone to acquire the team and the arena,” said Everblades president and GM Craig Brush. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished over the last 15 years and believe that greater successes are on the horizon for both Germain Arena and the Everblades.”

Sports investment bank Park Lane, led by its founder and managing director Andrew Kline, will serve as the exclusive sell-side banker for both the team and arena.

Germain Arena is a 7,000-seat multi-purpose venue viewed as “Hockey Heaven” by area residents. It is the home to the Everblades and known for its two world-class hockey training facilities. The venue features 26 suites, two additional ice rinks, a private club and the Breakaway Sports Pub overlooking the ice.

The arena regularly hosts various events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, boxing, mixed martial arts, ice shows, trade shows, and more. It currently is home to the Florida Tarpons (Ultimate Indoor Football League) and Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) hockey, and has also was the former home arena for the NBADL’s Florida Flame and AFL’s Florida Firecats.

The Everblades have not missed the playoffs in their 15 seasons, and have made three appearances in the Kelly Cup Finals. The franchise has finished first in the league in attendance five times.