ESTERO, Fla. — The Hoffmann Family of Companies is proud to announce it has entered into an agreement to purchase the Florida Everblades and the Hertz Arena, Southwest Florida's premier sports and entertainment venue.
Plans are underway for a complete renovation of the 8,284-seat, multi-purpose arena. The improvements will include enhanced skyboxes, food services and installation of a state-of-the-art scoreboard.
Hertz Arena, originally called Everblades Arena which opened in 1998, hosts a variety of events including concerts, Cirque du Soleil, Disney on Ice, boxing, trade shows, among many others. The venue offers 25 suites, two additional ice rinks, a private club and a restaurant overlooking the arena seating bowl, Breakaway Sports Pub. The arena is also home to the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles club hockey team of the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
“We are optimistic that all of the 330 employees will remain with the Hoffmann Family of Companies,” said Craig Brush, the Florida Everblades President and General Manager who signed a five-year contract and has a commitment from all his senior staff to remain in place. “We are thrilled to be acquired by such a prestigious company. Our partnership with the Hertz Corporation and now this new ownership ensures that Hertz Arena will maintain our strong community presence and continue to be the number one choice for entertainment in Southwest Florida.”
The team and the arena were previously owned by Peter Karmanos, founder of Compuware Corporation and prior majority owner of the Carolina Hurricanes in the National Hockey League.
“Simply put, without Peter Karmanos, there would be no Hertz Arena,” Brush added. “I speak for everyone in the organization in wishing Pete continued success in all his business ventures and would like to thank him for all his support and guidance over the past 21 years. The Hoffmanns, who own the minority of stake in the Kane County Cougars Class A professional baseball team, have been in search of a professional hockey or soccer franchise for the past several years.”
“The team and the arena have been run well and provide much excitement for their loyal fan base for hockey as well as a myriad of special events,” said David Hoffmann. “We plan to bring more events and entertainment to Southwest Florida. We have had preliminary discussions with the FGCUs sports promotion executives to host a nationally televised basketball tournament or major programs, and entertainment executives to bring more headlining musicians and events to the area. The response we have received makes us very optimistic.”
The purchase dovetails very well with other hospitality businesses the Hoffmanns have purchased in Southwest Florida. The Hoffmanns are the largest owners of commercial real estate in Naples and have purchased a dozen operating businesses that employ more than 1,000 people in Southwest Florida. The Hoffmanns recently announced a partnership with Kelly and Aldo Musico and Paul Fleming to expand Tacos & Tequila Cantina restaurants nationally.
About the Hoffmann Family of Companies
The Hoffmann Family Of Companies owns the following companies in Southwest Florida and employs over 1,000 people locally: Sunmaster, Naples Transportation & Tours, Signs & Things, Naples Princess, Adelheidi’s Organics, Tacos & Tequila Cantina, EventLux, WeddingLux, GlobalWorks, The Bevy, Kaleidoscope Floral, Hoffmann Executive Suites, Coral Cay Adventure Golf, Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate, Everglades Excursions, Hoffmann Creative Agency, Port ‘O Call Marina, and Segway of Naples.
The Hoffmann family owns national corporations including DHR International/Jobplex/Elevate Partners in Chicago and Orange Line Oil in Pomona, California, and other businesses around the globe.
About the Florida Everblades
Since their inception in 1998, the Florida Everblades have established a reputation as one of the premier organizations in the ECHL. The ‘Blades have been a consistent force on the ice, advancing to the playoffs in 20 of their 21 seasons. Florida also has quite an impressive trophy case, claiming the Brabham Cup three times for the best regular season record in the ECHL, winning four conference titles and seven division titles, and capturing the 2012 Kelly Cup. Through 21 seasons, 33 Blades players have advanced to the NHL. In addition to building a winning tradition, the Everblades have also built a big following throughout Southwest Florida and have finished in the top five in the ECHL in attendance in 14 of their 21 seasons, including five seasons of leading the league in attendance. For more information about the Florida Everblades visit www.floridaeverblades.com.