JT Ernst (2) looks to head up ice as he eyes the Outlaw goal

A local hockey group has purchased 54.32 acres between Gallatin and Hendersonville that has previously been looked at for an indoor hockey rink. FILE

A local hockey group has purchased property between Gallatin and Hendersonville that has previously been considered as a possible location for an indoor ice rink, according to Sumner County property data.

Old Hickory Hockey, LLC recently acquired a total of 54.32 acres at the eastern corner of Shute Lane and Nashville Pike across from Devonshire Trail, according to copies of warranty deeds obtained by the Hendersonville Standard. The total purchase price was $4.92 million. 

“Stratos Development is working with the property owners towards developing a public/private partnership at this location,” property developer Kevin Caine said in a prepared statement Monday. “We have no particulars to discuss but will follow up with a formal release at the appropriate time.”

While a project containing up to three sheets of ice has been considered for the property, Gallatin Economic Development Agency Executive Director James Fenton said Friday that he was unsure if those plans have changed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I know there is a huge demand for hockey in Sumner County,” Fenton said. “I just don’t have an answer as to what might be being considered at this point in time if the project is able to move forward.”

The Hendersonville Standard first reported in early 2017 that Gallatin and Hendersonville city leaders had been involved in separate discussions with the Nashville Predators regarding the possibility of building an ice rink locally. 

The professional sports organization has previously partnered with officials in Davidson County who agreed to fund the construction of Ford Ice Center in Antioch and Ford Ice Center Bellevue.

However, city leaders have said funding for any similar project in Sumner County would need to come from the private sector and not taxpayers. 

“We’re talking to lots of different governments and municipalities on a regular basis and that continues to be the case,” Predators spokesman Kevin Wilson said Monday when asked if the organization was involved in any development plans with Old Hickory Hockey. “We don’t comment on things that aren’t 100 percent contract signed (and) ready to go.”

In March of 2018, Hendersonville Mayor Jamie Clary released data from an initial feasibility study that estimated an indoor ice facility would cost anywhere from $12 million to $16 million to build.

A report from Clearwater, Fla.-based Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) also included one possible site for the project – land owned by STR (formerly Smith Travel Research) owner Randell Smith on Shute Lane across from the property purchased by Old Hickory Hockey. 

Total operating expenses for the facility were estimated to be approximately $1.2 million during the first two years before increasing to around $1.4 million by the fifth year, according to the report. Total revenue was estimated to increase from approximately $1.3 million in first year to around $2 million by the fifth year.

The report also estimated the project would lead to an additional $10 million in local spending at hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and retail outlets within the first five years of being open. The tax revenue that would be collected during that time was projected to be nearly $400,000. 

Reporter Tena Lee contributed to this report. 

Recommended for you