The Gold Coast Blue Tongues and the Australian Ice Hockey League have announced that the Blue Tongues will play out the remainder of their 2012 season from Acacia Ridge Iceworld in Brisbane's South West.
The change of venue came about after conditions at the Gold Coast’s old rink in Bundall's deteriorated following heavy rain last weekend and caused the cancellation of the second Ice vs. Blue Tongues game on Sunday the 3rd of June.
The AIHL, the Blue Tongues, Ice Hockey Queensland, local ice hockey teams and the Queensland rinks have been working together since the cancelled match on 3 June to finding a new home for the Blue Tongues that can provide the level of facilities needed for a safe and enjoyable game for players, officials and supporters.
AIHL Deputy Commissioner Ben Kiely said “We’re confident that this re-location of the Blue Tongues is in the best interests of our fans and players.
"Hockey has a bright future on the Gold Coast, and with support from the local community, and the right venue, the League certainly looks forward to it returning to the Gold Coast in the near future.
"In the meantime, we’re very excited about the prospect of playing out of such a high class facility as the Acacia Ridge Iceworld.”
Acacia Ridge has accommodated the Blue Tongues as best they can at such short notice, providing late night time slots on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the newly refurbished rink.
Kiely said “at this stage, the remaining 7 home matches for the Blue Tongues will be rescheduled at Acacia Ridge with a start time of 10:30pm".
"Some games may also move to the Friday or Saturday night.
"While the 10:30pm start time isn't ideal for anyone involved, we hope that positives can come from a challenging situation.”
The Blue Tongues are presently working with the other teams to coordinate the best time slots and assist with any travel variations.
The League expects that announcements of the new game dates and times will be made over the coming week once they have been confirmed.
The AIHL wishes to acknowledge the enormous effort made by the members of the Blue Tongues management, Ice Hockey Queensland, local Brisbane ice hockey teams and the two Brisbane rinks to reach this outcome in such a short span of time.
Ben Kiely also paid particular tribute to the many hours that the League’s Commissioner, Tyler Lovering, had spent bringing the affected stakeholders together.
The League expects to announce how the points from the cancelled game will be awarded shortly. Understandably, the relocation of the Blue Tongues team has taken priority.