The Delaware Thunder professional ice hockey team has been denied a contract extension to continue playing at the Centre Ice Rink located on the Delaware State Fairgrounds. The Thunder have played their home games since their inception in 2019.
After three seasons of playing their home games they are being denied a contract extension to keep playing their home games at the Centre. During the Thunder press conference yesterday CEO Charlie Pens Sr .was asked why he said “Well.. to be honest one man. One person is preventing it at the Delaware State Fair and I dont think it’s fair that one man can affect an entire state or an entire community and an entire region.”
Delaware Thunder is the first professional team to ever be located in Harrington, Delaware. They are now part of that community. They have built a great fan base as well as great partnerships with surrounding businesses, groups, and churches in their community as well as surrounding communities. CEO Charlie Pens Sr. said “We’ve purchased real estate in the area, we have housing rentals. This isn’t a fly by night organization, we’re in the community and um we are a part of the community so my intentions were not to go anywhere.”
The Thunder doesn’t just thrive from the community, they also give back to the community. They give back by supporting the USO since Delaware is a big military state. They also support Harrington Fire Company, Harrington Police, and Delaware Troopers association. They give back to multiple other charities as in ALS Greater Philadelphia, Delaware Autism and many different cancer charities throughout the seasons. They give back to the local hockey leagues, their players read to kids in elementary schools during the press conference Pens Sr. stated “If the Delaware State Fair is about community then what is this all about then?”
It seems there have been some contract disputes between the two organizations that have led to this contract dispute. We do not want to speculate on those terms , but during the press conference CEO Pens did talk about a few of them. If you want to hear them here is the link to the live streamed press conference.
During the press conference CEO Pens was asked to comment about the team’s relocation. He said “ we’ve been offered several new facilities or different facilities in different states you know from Florida to Maine and um, I’m fighting like heck to keep the team in the state of Delaware.”
If you would like to support the Delaware Thunder they have an online petition that you can help support them here. They encourage you to also reach out to your local politicians to help keep their team in our great state of Delaware.
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