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Page last updated at 15:44 GMT, Wednesday, 11 August 2010 16:44 UK

Hull Stingrays confirm closure of the club

Ice hockey

Elite League side Hull Stingrays have gone out of business with immediate effect, the owners have confirmed.

The club, who finished bottom of the league last term, have recently hit financial difficulties.

They have been unable to attract a sponsor for the forthcoming campaign after the previous backer pulled out.

Co-owner Mike Pack told BBC Radio Humberside: "We've provided the financial safety net over the years and now that safety net is not there."

He continued: "We can't go forward with the risk that we might not finish what we start."

Fellow co-owner Sue Pack added: "I don't believe there's a political will out there to help the ice hockey team.

"It's appalling when councillors in the city ignore a business like ourselves that brings a lot to the community."

In response to Pack's claims, Hull City Council's City Arts and Leisure Manager, Alison Walker, issued the following statement.

"We are saddened that the owners of Stingrays Ice Hockey team are unable to field a team this season as they will be missed at the Arena and will leave a big gap in our programme.

"During the team's time at the Arena we have provided free ice time to allow them to train and for match days, which allows them to reinvest the full admission takings.

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"Unfortunately the fan base in Hull is not enough on its own to sustain the business and the current level of sponsorship is not enough for the owners to keep the business going.

"We hope the situation is temporary, and that more sponsorship may be found soon, so that they can be back in the league and at the Arena in the near future."

The Stingrays were unable to find a new major sponsor which left a shortfall in what they needed to compete in the Elite League, despite completing their roster for the new season.

Competitive ice hockey arrived in Hull in 1988 with the Humberside Seahawks and they built up a small yet loyal following over the years.

After going through several transition phases, the Packs bought the club in 2003 and the club were renamed the Hull Stingrays. They were formally elected in to the Elite League in 2006 but failed to make the play-offs in each of their first three seasons.



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