Rockford City Council members debated four scenarios in regards to MetroCentre renovations. Council members decided to put the past behind them but the future of the MetroCentre and the Rockford IceHogs still isn't crystal clear. The City Council vote came easier then most expected. The Rockford City Council decided to support an Intergovernmental Agreement between the MetroCentre, Winnebago County, and the City of Rockford. The city will also begin to sell bonds to pay for the renovations. The council’s approval really affected by the county's decision to prohibit the MetroCentre, City of Rockford or Winnebago County to own a sports franchise. Talks resume Wednesday between the MetroCentre and the Rockford IceHogs. But without the AHL Chicago Blackhawks, the IceHogs are going to have to come up with a way to bring in even more revenue should a 10 year lease ever be signed.
IceHogs co-owner Dr. Kris Tumilowicz states, "We've got to make sure that it's affordable for us and we understand that the numbers need to work in order to retire that debt."
CentreEvents Manager Corey Pearson tells 23 News, "We will sit down and start looking at numbers to see what the expectations are from both parties. It's something that is a real opportunity. It's going to involve stretching on both parties."
Pearson goes on to say that the Blackhawks haven't officially said “no.” The city handed out a packet of information to the media which clarifies the fact that the city has till February 5th to stop the bond sale and terminate the project. Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey is asking the Winnebago County Board to reverse it's decision. At this point, a special meeting has not been called.