Speak Up: No lease renewal for Thunder, Delaware State Fair says


Delaware Thunder president and general manager Charles Pens hopes this isn’t the squad’s last season at The Centre Ice Arena.

Even though Delaware State Fair officials say there’s no lease renewal for the 2023-24 ice hockey campaign, he says, “You hold out hope (for a return) because, without hope, you have nothing.”

On March 24, the fair’s assistant general manager and director of marketing Danny Aguilar said arena use will revert to the public programs utilized prior to the Thunder’s arrival. The Thunder’s lease will not be extended, he confirmed.

  • What is wrong with the fair operators? Can’t you see Delaware has a team of guys that have done many great things for our youth? I guess the ego of the fair management supersedes the community and our youth. The rink is full of dedicated fans each home game. I hope the fair management comes and sees for themselves. Do the right thing and overturn this ridiculous decision and keep the Thunder here. — Robert Longo
  • I think the Delaware fair board couldn’t care less about the rink and Delaware hockey in general. They have no vision for building any sustainable hockey programs. That place is a gold mine covered with burnt coals and could easily experience tremendous growth. There’s a wide-open market on the Eastern Shore if someone has a few million sitting around to build a rink and has some business sense married up with some hockey sense. — Robert Holmes
  • The Thunder has been a great experience! Hope it can stay! — Nelson Warren
  • Why don’t they move to Fred Rust Arena? — Alex Zurl
  • Fred Rust is an Olympic-size sheet of ice, not the North American size. Fred Rust is 3 feet shorter in length and 13 feet wider. I’d imagine league rules require the North American-sized ice surface. — George Reynolds
  • There is the Gold Ice Arena (behind the Rust). — Justin Marino
  • I don’t know the spectator seating, but I’d guess it’s less than Harrington. Also, the facilities are not that great in the Gold. The Hens’ club Division 1 team doesn’t even play in the Gold, only Rust. — George Reynolds
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