Tuesday, September 23, 2014

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Elmira/Corning

First Arena and NYSEG work out bills

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: First Arena and NYSEG work out bills
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Despite last week's settlement in the First Arena bankruptcy case, the facility is not out of the woods yet. The latest challenge has to do with utility costs. As YNN's Katie Husband tells us, it is another step in a long process but for now, games in the near future will still be played.

ELMIRA, N.Y. -- First Arena continues to hurdle through more challenges after the former owner, Elmira Downtown Arena LLC filed for bankruptcy last August.

"In any bankruptcy situation, as I've learned through this experience, then it changes the relationship of the parties and the payments and those kind of things," said Matt Hufnagel, First Arena general manager.

Payments to NYSEG, specifically. According to Hufnagel, the utility company wants more in monthly payments due to last week's settlement agreement, naming Elm Arena LLC the new operator. Currently, talks between each attorney and NYSEG continue to try to reach a payment agreement.

"It's in everybody's best interest for this place to continue to operate and keep going. So, I think that, from my conversations that's the start of these discussions between both, any vendor, anywhere and any customer, it's in the best interest to work together so businesses can operate and bills can be paid," said Hufnagel.

Leaders say they don't know when an agreement will be made, but the attorney for Elm Arena LLC says this does not hinder their new role.

"When the closing occurs at the end of the hockey season then we'll, presumably will be the owner of the facility and we'll have to make our own arrangement with the utility," said David Rasmussen, Elm Arena LLC, attorney.

"A future with this arena and this hockey team that I think is very bright, we're going to continue to plug along and have a great season," said Hufnagel.

Hufnagel wants all fans to know the lights will remain on for this Friday's game against the Reading Royals, while the latest chapter in this ongoing saga plays out.

NYSEG did respond to our story saying, “We are attempting to work with all interested parties in this proceeding to keep hockey in Elmira.”

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