Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - Submitted by Peter Lambert
The after five seasons in Penrith, including a Goodall Cup AIHL Championship in 2007, the Sydney Bears have moved home.
The Bears will play at least their next three seasons from the Sydney Ice Arena (SIA) in Baulkham Hill's Norwest Business Park, returning to their home of 2003-2006.
Bears GM Wayne Hellyer wished to thank the Penrith Ice Palace for their support since moving out West in 2007, and the AIHL's Ben Kiely for assistance in negotiations with the SIA.
Along with the change of game venue, the Bears will move their training sessions to Macquarie Ice Rink in North Ryde, the Bears original home, pre-AIHL.
Hellyer explained the motive behind the relocation, "Moving to the SIA will help us to attract the sponsorship and spectator support we need to continue beyond our 30 years history, and having our team train at Macquarie will help us bring back the player and coaching association with the Bears [Junior] Club".
Changes to the AIHL 2012 schedule are minimal but include:
The two Saturday games (both versus the Ice Dogs) will be at 6.00pm, rather than at the original time of 5.00pm.
Two home games versus the North Stars will be played at Hunter Ice Skating Stadium in Warners Bay, the North Stars home rink. The home game versus the North Stars on the 1st of July will remain at SIA in Baulkham Hills.
The Bears play their first game at SIA on AIHL opening night, Saturday the 28th of April at 6.00pm, versus cross-town rivals, the Sydney Ice Dogs.
About the Sydney Ice Arena
The Sydney Ice Arena was opened in 2002 and has been home rink to the Sydney Bears and Sydney Ice Dogs in that time.
SIA seats approximately 900 spectators and includes skate shop, canteen and disabled access facilities. SIA is amongst the Norwest Business Park in the Baulkham Hills/Kellyville area of Sydney's North West suburbs.
The AIHL's first tournament-style finals were held at the SIA, then known as the Glaciarium, in 2003.