Ice Bears return at revamped Civic Coliseum

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- it is hockey time once again in Tennessee. The Civic Coliseum in downtown Knoxville is where the Ice Bears took to the ice for the first time this season Friday night hosting the Huntsville Havoc.

Now while the Bears were on hibernation so to speak, several new things were happening inside the Civic Coliseums. The first thing fans will notice is a new Jumbotron high atop the ice. New NHL dash boards and Plexiglas were put in, a new floor and renovations were also done to the restrooms on the concourse level where ladies will love how they've expanded the size and accessibility.

In all an $11 million project at the Coliseum and the adjoining auditorium will help enhance the experience for both competitor and fan alike says Coliseum GM, Mitch List, “it's gonna make a big impact on these fans, they're gonna walk in the door and notice the difference, but it'll also make a great impact for folks who come to other events here whether it's Disney On ice or other family shows , concerts, comedy events something in the renovation is for everyone and probably the first thing you'll notice is this new center hung four panel scoreboard which is gonna completely change an Ice Bears game, the fan experience being able to watch replays or all their cool promos like dance for your dinner and things like that , it's just gonna grow and enhance that fan experience when you come to an Ice Bears game."

Also excited about the changes is Ice Bears team president Mike Murray who told WVLT Sports, “The city stepped up and put some money into the building , they value what we do here in the community and I so appreciate that . A new ice floor, new boards new glass, new suites around the glass and my favorite thing that I've been asking for on my Christmas list for 17 years is right above us is eight tons of Jumbotron.

Mike is certainly excited about the renovations as well as the new five-year lease the organization has signed to keep hockey skating in Knoxville for the next five years.