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Big push underway to bring professional hockey back to Birmingham

Source: Art Clarkson Source: Art Clarkson Source: WBRC Video

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) –

It’s time to bring hockey back,” said Art Clarkson with major excitement.

Clarkson owned the Birmingham Bulls, a minor professional hockey team based in Birmingham, AL from 1992 to 2001.

Clarkson owned the team for about six years, before selling it.

”Right now I have the whole package put together. I have general managers. I have attorneys. I have accountants, ready to step it up. Unfortunately, we don’t have the arena yet,"

During the team’s tenure, they played in the Birmingham-Jefferson County Civic Center, now the Legacy Arena at the BJCC. Clarkson wants to continue the tradition and make Legacy Arena its host facility.

Executive Director Tad Snider said in a statement that before there’s a deal – due diligence will need to be performed, including capital commitments to facilitate the return of hockey.

That hasn’t stopped Clarkson from making plans to relive the glory days of hockey in Birmingham.

"When I had the Bulls, we had a crowd of 15,000 at our games. It’s a huge hockey market here. People love hockey in Birmingham,” continued Clarkson.

UAB’s Men’s Hockey Club is seeing that love first hand.

"This is the first year and it’s been an insane amount of support on the Birmingham community and UAB community,” said team member Adil Patel.

“We’re not just the UAB team. We are a Birmingham team. Also, a lot people grew up watching the Birmingham Bulls and they see us and they just in latched onto us,” he continued.

Patel said bringing the Bulls back could help them grow their program.

"Bringing the Bulls here increases the exposure to hockey for a lot of people. A lot of people have never seen hockey before. It gives them a chance to see it and that will bring fans to UAB hockey also," Patel said.

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