ELMIRA, N.Y. – For as long as the Elmira Jackals have occupied First Arena in downtown Elmira, official team photographer Rick Bacmanski has been behind the camera, documenting it all.
From the inaugural 2000-01 season when the Jackals played in the defunct United Hockey League to joining the East Coast Hockey League in 2007, Bacmanski has no doubt that the arena will keep its doors open next season, despite all of the “doom and gloom” in recent news headlines.
“I think every person you talk to has a different story about what’s going on or what is going to happen,” said Bacmanski on Thursday night. “My take on it is, and I’ve been around since the first puck drop, the arena is going to continue, one way or another.”
After reports of the city of Elmira denying to financially assist the arena, investors and potential buyers have been investigating the situation, and some positive news is finally at the forefront.
“I know who the buyer is who would purchase the place. I think he’s a very smart businessman,” Bacmanski stated. “He has the drive and the love of the game, and I don’t think he’s going to let hockey disappear out of Elmira.”
According to Bacmanski, who provided further thoughts on the arena in the video above, the situation can only improve from here.
“Anybody who says they’re going to be gone, I just think they’re wrong,” he concluded.