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Community First Credit Union Expands Partnership with Icemen

By: Maria Coppola, APR, CPRC

Posted on 8/2/2021 12:00:00 PM

New family ice complex begins construction and will be named the
Community First Igloo

JACKSONVILLE, FL – The Jacksonville Icemen, proud ECHL affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers and the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack, announced today that Community First Credit Union has expanded its partnership with the Icemen and will play a major role in the development of the soon to be renovated Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex. The facility will be named the Community First Igloo which will include two sheets of ice, a sports-themed restaurant & bar, pro shop, an e-Sports center and more.  In addition, Community First will become the presenting sponsor of the Jr. Icemen youth hockey programs that are set to begin in October of 2022.  Today’s announcement was made at a press conference that took place at the facility which begins its renovation this afternoon.

“Community First has been a great partner of ours since Day One, and we are excited to extend our partnership further,” said Zawyer Sports CEO Andy Kaufmann. “Community First Credit Union will join us in our mission to grow youth and adult hockey programs in our area, while providing a newly renovated family ice facility for the residents of our great city.  We also wish to thank the City of Jacksonville for their support in moving this project forward.”

Community First is a longtime supporter of Jacksonville’s local sports teams and is a current Center Ice Sponsor of the Jacksonville Icemen. Community First has supported the team since its first season in 2017. The credit union is notable among Icemen fans for sponsoring the fan-favorite Community First Fan Zamboni Experience before and during Icemen home games.

“Community First Credit Union is proud to support the Jacksonville Icemen as well as hockey and ice sports through this revitalized and expanded facility,” said John Hirabayashi, CEO and president of Community First. “We enjoy our part in helping provide family fun in our community through these special partnerships. The Jacksonville Icemen is making a bold investment in the future of the team and hockey as well as ice sports for all ages in our city.”

Zawyer Sports will manage and operate the facility effective immediately.  The organization also noted that renovation of the facility is now underway and will take 10-12 months to complete.  In addition, the facility will remain open during construction.   In addition to growing youth and adult hockey in the area, Zawyer Sports will also develop programs to offer everyone the opportunity to learn how to skate and play hockey, with an emphasis on reaching out to underserved communities in Northeast Florida.

“I am excited to see this amazing project get underway,” said Mayor Lenny Curry. “This partnership between the Icemen and Community First will not only create a premiere family fun and entertainment destination for our residents and visitors, but it will also make this exciting sport more accessible to families in our community by supporting and expanding adult and youth programs.”

About Community First Credit Union
Named the League of Southeastern Credit Union’s “Credit Union of the Year” (2020, large asset category) Community First Credit Union of Florida is a state-chartered credit union based in Jacksonville serving anyone who lives or works on the First Coast. Community First is one of the 10 largest credit unions in the state, serving more than 155,000 members and with assets of $2.3 billion. Community First has 19 locations and 340 employees. A not-for-profit, Community First is a full-service financial institution offering banking, loans, mortgages and investments for consumers and businesses across the First Coast.

About Zawyer Sports
Zawyer Sports is the parent company of the Jacksonville Icemen, the Community First Igloo and the ECHL expansion team, Savannah Pro Hockey.   It is led by the management team of Andy Kaufmann (CEO), Bob Ohrablo (President) and Scott Einhorn (Chief Operating Officer).
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The Icemen’s home opener for their 2021-2022 All-Star Season is set for November 6 against the South Carolina Stingrays. Full and partial season packages that include tickets to the 2022 ECHL All-Star Classic are currently available. Contact the Icemen office at 904-602-7825, or visit www.jacksonvilleicemen.com for more information.

Exterior rendering of the Community First Igloo.Interior rendering of the Community First Igloo.Ice rink rendering of the Community First Igloo.

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