Hull Pirates fans have expressed their disappointment at the postponement of Sundays game against MK Lightning but there is good reason to believe that the failed air conditioning system will be fixed by Tuesday next week.
It has been a huge blow to the Pirates, who until this weekend had a 100% record in Friendly and League ties. But off the ice, the closure has more repercussions. The fixture is likely to be rearranged for a midweek slot which will involve a significant loss of revenue to the Pirates.
Media Spokesperson, Ian Mowforth, commented, ‘This closure has a significant impact on the Pirates cash flow. Owner Shane Smith has managed this but in the past, cash flow issues have brought down Hull Thunder and Hull Stingrays. We are lucky to have an owner who is willing to fund us in this manner but cash flow is only part of the problem. We now face a shortfall in revenue of thousands of pounds due to the fixture likely falling on a weekday. This too will be managed but it is a loss that Shane is far from happy to sustain.’
A date has not yet been fixed for the re-scheduled game but next week’s tie against Raiders is due to go ahead.
‘I share the fan’s frustration because I am a supporter first and foremost but having spoken with Shane it is evident that there is nothing we could do to prevent this. The operation of the rink is completely out of our hands. Shane found and suggested a solution, which if accepted, may have seen the game go ahead, but HCC has its procedures and we cannot encroach upon these. At the end of the day, we are only tenants,’ said Ian Mowforth
Some fans were upset that the announcement came from other sources before the Pirates announced the postponement. ‘I just cannot understand how that happened; the impression I have is that media outlets, the League and MK seem to know before us and that is embarrassing. But I need to look into the facts of what happened here because this cannot be repeated. Within the Pirates’ organisation, none of us were any the wiser so we can discount a failure of internal communications. Naturally there is a procedure in place to notify the League and opponents as quickly as possible but the first I learned of it was when a good friend posted me the HDM article! From there, the Pirates only announced the postponement once we had exercised every possible solution to the air condition problem. Yes, there was a delay because we saw no point in announcing a certain postponement when we saw the possibility of Shane finding and implementing a solution. He spent hours sourcing portable air conditioning systems but in the end the decision was out of our hands. I can hold my hands up and say that we did everything possible to put this fixture back on.’
The failure of the air condition systems, falling on the back of last seasons’ technical issues, highlights the need for a new rink. ‘I have seen Twitter postings from senior HCC personnel, expressing that this rink is getting to the end of its days and that the new one should be built asap. I can only echo that sentiment. This old place holds many memories for me but we have to move on and we urge everyone to support the HCC in its drive for a new rink.’