- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 18, 2014

MACON, Ga. (AP) - The Macon-Bibb County Commission has approved a rental agreement for Augusta’s minor league hockey team to play in the Macon Coliseum if the team moves to the central Georgia city.

The Telegraph of Macon reports that commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the five-year agreement.

Kevin Dowdell, director of sales and marketing for the Macon Centreplex, said the Southern Professional Hockey League last week authorized Macon to host a franchise. The Centreplex includes the coliseum, where Dowdell said hockey supporters hope to average 2,100 fans at games.

The Augusta RiverHawks have been unable to play several games in Augusta’s James Brown Arena due to problems with the facility’s ice system.

The RiverHawks are in discussions with Macon officials about a possible move to central Georgia, team owner Bob Kerzner told The Augusta Chronicle. Kerzner confirmed Tuesday that he’s had talks with city officials about potentially moving the RiverHawks to the Macon Coliseum, the Augusta newspaper reported.

If the team does move to Macon, Dowdell said the first games wouldn’t be played in the coliseum until fall 2015. He said that would allow time to get local sponsors on board and whip up enthusiasm.

Macon has had minor league hockey teams before. The Macon Coliseum was home to the Macon Whoopees from 1973-74; the Macon Whoopee from 1996-2002; and the Macon Trax from 2002-2005.

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Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com