STEELERS’ new owner Paul Ragan has no intention of adopting the one-time club dream of a new rink in Rother Valley Country Park.
Under former owner Bob Phillips, the Sheffield club declared their desire at becoming a “core tenant” in a proposed £350m YES! Project.
Former developers Oak Holdings were initially granted planning permission three years ago for an entertainment centre on a 327-acre site between Sheffield and Rotherham. While site owners Rotherham Council still embrace the plan, in general terms, Sheffield remain nervous about the impact on attractions in the city. But Ragan has little intention on moving Steelers to any new rink there, The Star can reveal.
He told The Star: “I knew nothing about it until the week before last. As far as I was aware, the Yes! Project is more likely the ‘One-day-in-a-million-years-time project.’ ”
Oak says around 3,000 jobs will be created in the region and a further 2,000 during its three-year development. But the project had been on the drawing board since 1999. Ragan said “There is this expectation that somebody coming to an arena (club) means that a property deal is pending. I really have no interest in property whatsover, in terms of a new rink.”
Ragan says, in general, a perfectly proportioned facility for Steelers would have around a 4-5,000 capacity.
“We could fill this week in week out” he said.
But he is hoping to make the Steeler night out such an attraction to families - as it once was - that Sheffield Arena will start to fill up again.
He intends to use “creative experts” to work on the whole entertainment package - possibly including video presentations all around the bowl.
The Elite League has declared new EIHL record setter Ervins Mustukovs as their Player of the Week, for the second time this season. In his last three games, the goaltender posted two shutouts, 82 saves from 86 shots.
Steelers are considering trying to postpone some of the rash of games coming up next week.