Elmira/Corning Regional Airport

First Arena in Court

Written By: Joe Melillo

Arena cases go to court.

First Arena in Court
April 17, 2012

Chemung County (WENY) - The operators of First Arena went to court to argue that Chemung County illegally took the Arena. County leaders say they did everything in their legal power to assure the future of the Jackals home Ice. Chemung County Judge Judith O'Shea heard two cases involving first arena this afternoon. Elmira Downtown Arena LLC, the management company running first arena is fighting Chemung county and the arena's former general manager Robbie Nichols. The judge did not decide either case today. The judge will make a decision about both cases in about a week. As of right now both sides feel confident they presented strong cases.

Jackals' Team President, Tamer Afr made an appearance in the courtroom today.

“If everybody wants hockey then tell the legislature its your building its your community.”

He and his company Elmira Downtown Arena LLC are claiming the county broke the law by not allowing there company to buy-back the Arena after foreclosure.

Bryan Maggs the Chemung Co. Attorney says the county attorney believes the Chemung County Legislature had to deny the request.

“We have an arena with over 8 million dollars of public money into it and we want to make sure the arena is run properly the public has spoken pretty loudly and is upset about how the arena has been run and the legislature wants to look at what options it might have to sell it back to STED.”

It was the first time the county refused repurchase money. The Jackals former General Manager Robbie Nichols was also defending is case today. The Afr's and Elmira Downtown Arena LLC claim Nichols is using information he accumulated while running the jackals to solicit sponsors for his wife's baseball team, the Elmira Pioneers.

“I've been in sports for the past 45 years of my life so you learn a lot just like you guys are experts in the news so if I got some knowledge in my brain I don't know ho I can take it out and leave it.” Says Nichols.

If judge O'Shea rules in favor of Elmira Downtown Arena the county will have to accept the repurchase money.