The AIHL and the Gold Coast Blue Tongues have today agreed to suspend the Gold Coast Blue Tongues’ licence to compete in the AIHL for the 2013 season. This means that the AIHL will revert to an 8 team competition for 2013.
The decision to suspend the Blue Tongues only happened because they have not been able to secure access to a suitable home venue for 2013. The club had explored a range of options, including constructing a temporary rink, but unfortunately none of these options has proved feasible.
Confirming the decision, the League’s Deputy Commissioner Ben Kiely said, “This is a sad day for hockey in Queensland. However, it’s important to remember that this is only a temporary setback. The Blue Tongues remain members of the League, and subject to finding a suitable rink, we expect them back — better than ever — in 2014.”
“The AIHL is excited by the plans recently announced by the Blue Tongues’ management for a permanent ice sports facility on the Gold Coast. We look forward to working with Dave Emblem and his team to try and make this a reality” Kiely said.
Until today’s final decision, the League had been focused on maintaining a 9 team competition, and was keen for the Blue Tongues to explore all avenues, provided they met the League’s minimum facility standards. However, given the ongoing uncertainties, the League has prudently been preparing both an 8 team schedule and a 9 team schedule for some months. As a final decision has now been made about the Blue Tongues’ participation, the AIHL expects to announce the 2013 schedule in the coming weeks (this will include details of the structure of the revised competition).
Media contact: Ben Kiely, Deputy Commissioner, 0457 735 183