Fans devastated at RiverHawks canceling upcoming season

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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Augusta Riverhawks

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Time ran out for the RiverHawks hockey team, and they won't be playing in Augusta next season.

"It's going to be a huge loss. It's going to be devastating," said Kellie Dengate.

Kellie and her husband, Mark, are season ticket holders. They were at every home game last year.

"It's just kind of depressing, and it's too bad for the whole city," Mark said.

Married for 17 years now, hockey season was the favorite part of their year.

"We're kind of bummed," Kellie said. "Trying to figure out what to do with our winter now."

Damage to the ice rink at the James Brown Arena put the team in a bind, forcing them to play their last eight games at the Augusta Ice Forum.

"Without ice, we can't play the game, so they've got to just decide what they're going to do down at the James Brown Arena," Mark said.

After waiting almost three months, and with the season coming up, the team president says it was time to make a decision.

And with no positive updates on the rink, they decided to take a break.

"We're going to suspend operations and hopefully come back and play in the CSRA in the following season," said RiverHawks President Mark Richards.

And if the ice isn't fixed, many will miss out on more than just hockey.

"It would be bad, not just for hockey, but Disney on Ice -- I know a lot of people go to that," Kellie said.

Now the Dengates have just one hope.

"[We hope] that things will work out and they won't have to go anywhere else," Kellie said. "We really, really want them to stay."

Officials at the James Brown Arena were not available to comment on Wednesday. Right now, there is no word on what the plan may be for the ice rink.

Season ticket holders can get their refunds from May 29 to May 31 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. at the RiverHawks front office at 712 Telfair Street.

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