Centreplex gets new ice machine, ahead of Macon Mayhem season

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — The Macon Mayhem Ice Hockey Season is revving up, and the Macon Centreplex is preparing for the team’s first home game.

Blair Floyd, the general manager of Macon Mayhem, says his players will be ready. He also hopes the arena will be ready as well.

The Macon Centreplex arena is empty. However, as of Jan. 2 — that won’t be the case. Floyd says come out, cheer on your team, and social distance.

”We are anticipating 30-40% right now with the current guidelines,” Floyd said. “We are going to wait a little bit closer to season mid-November to make the official ruling.” 

The Centreplex can seat nearly 9,000 people. However, due to the pandemic, seating will look different. 

According to Director of Operation Jeff Butcher, Centreplex upgraded the arena ice resurfacing machine or Zamboni.

“We are going from a 95 Honda to a 2020 Mercedes, here,” said Butcher. 

Butcher says the new machine will be more efficient for arena employees. 

Butcher says the new 5-46 model will cut, clean, and lay water over the ice for a smooth finish. He calls the first setting is called “level-ice” which is a laser leveling system within the machine. It’s used to create an accurate and level ice surface. 

“You can adjust the blade that cuts the ice, to cut more when it’s thicker, and less when it’s thinner,” Butcher said. 

According to Butcher, the second set is known as fast-ice, where the machine uses a mister to smooth the ice and make it harder which is better for ice-hockey. 

The third setting is called Zamboni Connect. Buther says it tells him if there are any issues with the machine and how it was operated.

“Overall it develops a lot of savings for us because we will know what we are using and doing,” Butcher said.

Floyd says the Zamboni is a big deal for the team. 

“It’s going to speed up time resurfacing the ice. It’s going to give us a better ice surface, it’ll give us that next level of ice so that we can be able to recruit,” said Floyd. 

“So it takes about 10 minutes to do the resurface, and this year we will have the advantage to use both Zambonis during games so it’ll take between 6 to 8 minutes to do that resurfaced now,” Butcher said. 

Floyd says this year the team will have 21 home and road games instead of 28 due to covid. But says their season officially begins December 28 against Huntsville Alabama. 

The team will return to Macon on Jan. 2, to play the Birmingham Bulls.

Ticket purchasing

If interested in attending a Macon Mayhem game you can purchase tickets online or at the Macon Centreplex Box Office. 

The new Zamboni machine was purchased with SPLOST funding from Macon-Bibb County. 

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Jatrissa Wooten is a city girl born and raised in Boston. She traveled for 42 hours from Eureka, California. There, she worked as a Multimedia Journalist and Weekend Anchor. Prior to that, she was a Reporter/Producer in Louisiana. Jatrissa graduated from Barry University in Miami Shores, Florida, with a degree in Broadcast and Emerging Media. She is now living out her dream as a broadcaster. Besides storytelling, she loves to dance, vlog, and spend time with family and friends. She comes with a BIG personality and is always down for a good laugh.