About Pensacola Ice Flyers
The Pensacola Ice Flyers are a professional ice hockey team that plays in the Southern Professional Hockey League. The team plays their home games out of the Pensacola Bay Center in scenic Pensacola, Florida and have been around since their first season in 2009-10.
The team name has a special double meaning that isn’t known by many outside of the Pensacola community. First, it’s a tribute to the city’s heritage in naval aviation as nearby Naval Air Station Pensacola is home to the legendary Blue Angels. The city is also home to the legendary National Museum of Naval Aviation. The name is also an homage to original owner Tim Kerr, who played 11 seasons with the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Philadelphia Flyers.
One of the biggest games for the franchise happened on April 14, 2013, when the Ice Flyers defeated the Huntsville Havoc 2-0 in game three of the President’s Cup finals. This led to the team’s first President’s Cup and the spark for local fervor for this incredible squad. Since then, the team has won the playoff championships in 2014, 2016, and 2021.
The “Ice Flyers” name has a double meaning – it is both a tribute to Pensacola’s heritage in naval aviation (Naval Air Station Pensacola is home to the legendary Blue Angels and the National Museum of Naval Aviation) and a homage to original owner Tim Kerr, who previously played eleven seasons with the National Hockey League’s Philadelphia Flyers.
On April 14, 2013, the Ice Flyers beat the Huntsville Havoc 2–0 in game three of the President’s Cup finals to win the franchise’s first President’s Cup. The win also solidified the city of Pensacola’s first professional sports championship. The Ice Flyers have since won the playoff championship in 2014, 2016, and 2021.
About Pensacola Bay Center Arena
The Pensacola Bay Center, once known as the Pensacola Civic Center, is a multipurpose indoor arena located in Pensacola, Florida. EScambia County owns the arena and its operated by ASM Global. The venue has capacity for 10,000 spectators for non-hockey events and 8,049 fans for hockey games across its 23,000 square feet of space. This also includes 10,000 square feet of usable meeting space.
The center was originally built during the mid 80s, with ground breaking in 1983. It finally opened to the public on January 21, 1985.
The current name was chosen after the Escambia County Commission voted to rename the arena on October 18, 2012 as part of a citywide rebranding effort that was started by Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward.
Besides being the primary home for the Pensacola Ice Flyers, it’s also been used by minor professional teams including the Pensacola Barracudas from 2000 to 2002 as well as the Pensacola Tornados of the Continental Basketball Association from 1985 to 1991. It’s also served as the home of the U.S. Roller Skating National Championships multiple times since it has opened.
As you can guess, the multipurpose arena has also been used for several concert events. KISS was the first band to perform at the arena and it has quickly become a favorite destination for the group. As KISS continues to make Pensacola a destination on all of its North American tours. It’s no surprise that other bands and performers followed suit in coming out to the incredible arena.
These include Bon Jovi’s performance on February 4, 1989 during his Jersey Syndicate Tour, which also stands as the arena’s largest crowd ever.
Perhaps this success led to a February 27, 1990 Janet Jackson concert that opened her Rhythm Nation World Tour. The tour’s dress rehearsal at the arena alone included 7,600 tickets being issued to the public as a benefit to a local charity, which later sold out in less than an hour.
Fans of Yes may also remember the April 9, 1991 concert at the Pensacola Bay Center. This show was the first of their Union tour and stands out as it was the first with the 8 man line up of Jon Anderson, Chris Squire, Steve Howe, Rick Wakeman, Alan White, Bill Bruford,
Ever since the team’s founding in 2009, the Pensacola Ice Flyers have been working hard for their fans. In fact, when the boys in navy blue, white, and grey hit the ice, you can bet that Flyers fans are jumping out of their seats to cheer. And there’s plenty of good reason to cheer.
Take for instance the 2013-14 season, when the Ice Flyers claimed the Regular season title. Not to mention how the franchise has won four playoff championships within an 8 year period (2013, 2014, 2016, 2021).
But even more impressive is how the team has fielded players who have gone on to represent their country internationally.
This includes Roman Andrejev (Estonia) who played for the Ice Flyers for his only season of North American professional hockey during their winning 2013-14 season. Andrejev had made his debut with the Estonian National Team at the 2014 IIHF World Championship Division II, Group A where he was second on the team and tied for third for in scoring during the whole tournament.
And we can’t forget to mention Joey Hughes (Australia), who played his rookie professional season and last season with the Ice Flyers. Hughes had represented Australia in the World Championships before playing for the Ice Flyers.