Largest Ice & Sports Complex in the Southeastern US Breaks Ground in Wesley Chapel and Announces Florida Hospital as Major Partner

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During today’s Groundbreaking Ceremony, Developer Gordie Zimmermann, along with Tampa Bay Lightning’s Executive Director of Community Hockey, Jay Feaster, officially announced Florida Hospital’s partnership in the 150,000 square- foot project and opened up a community Naming Contest.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

Florida Hospital is committed to supporting our community in Wesley Chapel and throughout Tampa Bay.

Florida’s largest ice rink facility and sports complex officially broke ground off Interstate 75 at the State Road 56 interchange in Wesley Chapel today. The 150,000 square-foot sports facility will include four full-sized rinks, including one Olympic-sized hockey rink. In addition to the four ice pads, including a removable pad that can double as a multi-purpose floor for basketball and even graduations, the $20-million dollar facility will also be home to a sports-themed family restaurant. Developer Gordie Zimmermann of ZMitch, LLC who unveiled the plan last year for Pasco’s Tourist Development Council, says the facility will open its doors to the community this year. He also says, once completed this fall, it will be the largest ice sports facility in the southeastern USA.

“The development of hockey and ice sports has leaped to the next level in Florida. In addition to the success of the Tampa Bay Lightning, our partners at Z Mitch saw an opportunity to help fill a void. Limited ice availability throughout the region has stalled future growth and now we have an opportunity to provide a world class program where our youth can develop to the highest levels without leaving the state to fulfill their dreams,” said Zimmermann, Managing Partner Z Mitch LLC.

Zimmermann, who used to be the General Manager of the Brandon ice facility, is excited to announce Florida Hospital is a partner in the ice and sports complex. Florida Hospital will be a major sponsor of the facility and will provide educational programs on sports performance and injury prevention. In addition, Florida Hospital will provide athletic training, sports performance programs in the facility and much more. Because this will be a community based facility, ZMitch and Florida Hospital have announced a community Naming Contest. Now through March 10, 2015, community members can submit potential names for the facility at http://www.WesleyChapelIceCenter.com.

“Florida Hospital is committed to supporting our community in Wesley Chapel and throughout Tampa Bay. The ice and sports complex is a natural fit for us because of our dedication to wellness and our sports medicine and athletic performance programs,” said Denyse Bales-Chubb, President and CEO of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel. Florida Hospital is also the presenting sponsor of the 2014-2015 and 2015-16 Tampa Bay Lightning seasons, as well as the team’s official health and wellness partner and the official health care provider of the Tampa Bay Storm. The two organizations will work together on creating new programs to be hosted at the new facility, which will have a huge impact on the growth of youth and adult hockey.

“As an organization, the Tampa Bay Lightning is committed to growing awareness of, and participation in, our great sport at every level,” said Jay Feaster, Executive Director of Community Hockey Development. “Having another facility with multiple sheets of ice in our market will enable more people to play hockey, and will allow us to increase on-ice programming through our Lightning Made brand. We look forward to working with the ice complex in growing the game of hockey across the Tampa Bay region.”

The two-story complex will not only feature hockey and figure skating, but will also host curling and other winter sports. One of the rinks would be located in the 20,000-square-foot multi-purpose space that could be converted for indoor sports, such as tennis, basketball, volleyball and arena football. It could also host large corporate meetings and even high school graduations. The facility expects to host more than 1.5 million people per year, with an estimated 40% of those coming from outside the Tampa Bay area. Developers expect the ice complex to bring more than 50 jobs to the area. The facility is also expected to drive business, especially for nearby hotels, hosting regional and national tournaments. For more information about the ice and sports complex and upcoming events, please visit: http://www.WesleyChapelIceCenter.com. For more information on Z Mitch, LLC please visit http://www.zmitch.com

About the Ice & Sports Complex in Wesley Chapel
The Ice & Sports Complex in Wesley Chapel is a 150,000 sq. ft. ice and multi-sports facility which will feature 4 rinks including an Olympic/International-sized ice rink. The facility will feature a conversion pad allowing it to host other indoor sports such as lacrosse, soccer, basketball, volleyball and more. Z Mitch, LLC is a locally based company experienced in all phases of real estate development including property acquisition, due diligence, market and financial feasibility, project sourcing, construction, and operational management. Managing partners are George Mitchell and Gordie Zimmermann. For more information, please see http://www.WesleyChapelIceCenter.com or http://www.zmitch.com.

About Florida Hospital West Florida Region
The Florida Hospital West Florida Region is a not-for-profit 1,257-bed hospital system composed of 9 hospitals including Florida Hospital Tampa, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, Florida Hospital Carrollwood, Florida Hospital at Connerton Long Term Acute Care, Florida Hospital Zephyrhills, Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel, Florida Hospital North Pinellas, Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center Sebring, Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center Lake Placid and Florida Hospital Wauchula. Part of the Adventist Health System, Florida Hospital is a leading health network comprised of 23 hospitals throughout the state. For more information, visit http://www.FloridaHospital.com.

About Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC
The 2004 Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the leasehold rights to Amalie Arena were purchased by an entity controlled by Jeffrey Vinik in March, 2010. Shortly thereafter, Vinik also purchased the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena Football League. Since acquiring these assets, Vinik has spearheaded a complete brand and business transformation of the teams and the arena under the banner of Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, LLC. The Lightning advanced to the Eastern Conference Final of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011 and Amalie Arena received a $42 million renovation later that summer. The following summer the organization announced plans to install a new center-hung scoreboard, larger than any other arena in the United States and Canada. Under the new ownership and management group, the fans have responded, more than doubling the team’s season ticket base. Vinik and the rest of his management team continue to move the organization forward with eyes on success on the ice as well as a world class organization off of it.

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Jennifer McVan, Director of Media Relations