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Compuware Arena to be sold to USA Hockey Foundation

Arena is home to OHL's Plymouth Whalers

Inside Compuware Arena before a Plymouth Whalers game in December, 2012.
Inside Compuware Arena before a Plymouth Whalers game in December, 2012. (Dave Bartkowiak Jr.)

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Compuware Arena, which is home to the OHL's Plymouth Whalers, is about to be sold to the USA Hockey Foundation.

A news release from USA Hockey says the foundation could acquire the arena by the first half of 2015. USA Hockey wants to relocate its National Team Development Program to Compuware Arena. The program currently is based at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube.

"Both parties felt it best to make public that there is intention to move forward with a sale, however, there are many steps in the process left to complete and nothing is final at this point," said Mike Vellucci, representing Compuware Arena on behalf of owner Peter Karmanos, in a news release. "It's important to note that the Compuware youth program would remain at Compuware Arena and be supported by Mr. Karmanos. Further, Mr. Karmanos will continue to own the Plymouth Whalers. While there are likely to be questions, out of respect for the on-going process and confidentiality involved, we'll have no further comment."

The biggest question may be whether the Whalers are moving out of town, something Karmanos said is a possibility during a news conference earlier this year. The owner said he was not happy with attendance at Compuware Arena.

The Whalers have played at the arena on Beck Road in Plymouth Township since 1997. Karmanos had the arena built for the team in 1996. It seats between 3,500 and 4,500 depending on the event. There are two sheets of ice in the complex -- an NHL-size rink and an Olympic-size rink.

"Keeping the current users of the building is important to both us and Pete Karmanos. There are a number of issues we're still working through, and while I know people will have questions, we'll have
nothing further to say until a final resolution is reached," said Ron DeGregorio, president of The USA Hockey Foundation and USA Hockey, Inc., in a news release.


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