The Kenai River Brown Bears salute seats mostly empty due to coronavirus mitigation measures after a victory over the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, April 23, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

The Kenai River Brown Bears salute seats mostly empty due to coronavirus mitigation measures after a victory over the Chippewa (Wisconsin) Steel on Friday, April 23, 2021, at the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna OKs 2-year contract with Brown Bears

The hockey team has used the sports complex as their home facility since 2007.

The Kenai River Brown Bears will call the Soldotna Regional Sports Complex home for at least two more seasons following the approval of a contract by the Soldotna City Council during their Wednesday night meeting.

The contract is good for two years and allows the Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation, doing business as the Kenai River Brown Bears hockey team, to use the sports complex for another two seasons. The Kenai River Brown Bears have used the sports complex as their home facility since 2007, with their most recent contract expiring this year, the resolution said.

In considering a two-year contract, Soldotna Parks and Recreation Director Andrew Carmichael cited uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for a new hockey team out of Anchorage.

“It is only a two year agreement as coming out/still in COVID world brings with it some uncertainty as does the inception of another Alaska NAHL team in Anchorage,” Carmichael wrote. “It is anticipated that upon completion of this agreement that the world will be in (a) more predictable state which is why it is only (a) two year agreement in terms of financial and (seasonal) provisions.”

The agreement establishes fees for home games and practice time and allows the Kenai Peninsula Youth Foundation to operate concessions at games and sell advertising in the arena, among other things, according to the resolution approved by the council Wednesday.

“It is the best interest of the City to enter into an agreement with KPYF for the use of the SRSC, to promote the growth of junior hockey in the central Kenai Peninsula,” the resolution says.

Wednesday’s full meeting of the Soldotna City Council can be viewed on the city’s website at soldotna.org.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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