Black Bear Sports Closes on $1.4M Purchase of Former Ice Zone

BOARDMAN, Ohio – An affiliate of Maryland-based Black Bear Sports Group Inc. has closed on its purchase of the former Ice Zone at 360 McClurg Road, according to data from the Mahoning County Auditor’s office.

Records show that Deep Freeze Acquisition LLC, based in Bethesda, Md., purchased the ice rink from KSMAC Holdings Ltd. for $1.45 million. The sale was recorded Aug. 2.

The auditor appraises the land and building at $1.77 million for tax purposes.

The complex includes an ice rink – dubbed the Deep Freeze Ice Arena — that will now serve as a training and practice facility for the Youngstown Phantoms Hockey Team.  Black Bear is a co-owner of the Phantoms, along with Youngstown-based Phantom Fireworks founder and CEO Bruce Zoldan.  The complex also houses the Extreme Air Trampoline Park.

Black Bear announced the acquisition of the building in June. 

“We are excited to continue our western Pennsylvania and Ohio market expansion with the addition of the Deep Freeze Ice Arena,” Murry N. Gunty, founder and CEO of Black Bear, said in a statement in June. 

“This is a natural extension of our Youngstown Phantoms brand,” he continued. “Our team has a proven track record of effectively reaching into the community and providing affordable family entertainment that promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles and together with the team from Extreme Air Trampoline Park, the Deep Freeze will be no exception.”

The Phantoms participate in the United States Hockey League and plays its regular season home games at the Covelli Centre in downtown Youngstown.

“The Youngstown Phantoms have been a part of Mahoning Valley tradition and the United States Hockey League the country’s top junior hockey league, since the 2009 season and previously were a member of the North American Hockey League for six seasons,” Black Bear Junior Hockey President Andrew Goldman stated. “With ownership of Deep Freeze, we can further invest in the Phantoms’ future including creation of a world class fitness facility and unlimited access to practice ice.”

Zoldan constructed the Ice Zone in 1997 as the home for the Phantoms, which then contained two community ice rinks. The building was sold to KSMAC in January 2017 for $1.8 million, according to auditor’s office records.

According to its website, Black Bear was founded in 2015 “to purchase undermanaged and underperforming ice rinks to bring professional management and badly needed capital to 20- to 30-year-old rinks to save the facilities and provide a safe, fun environment for the local community.”

Black Bear is the largest owner/operator of ice rinks in North America with 30 facilities across the United States, according to an earlier press release.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.