Professional Hockey Returns to Portland, Maine

After a season in Lewiston following a dispute over revenue with the Cumberland County Civic Center, the Portland Pirates are back in their home city.

Professional hockey is back in Portland, Maine, after a dispute over revenue with the Cumberland County Civic Center forced the Portland Pirates to play in Lewiston last season.

The move cost Portland millions in economic activity.

Friday, Mayor Michael Brennan officially welcomed the Pirates and the money that comes with them back to the city.

"The Pirates have an enormous effect on the city of Portland, both economically and socially," said Mayor Brennan.

It's good news for local businesses, like the Holiday Inn By the Bay, which counted on the team to bring in revenue during the slow winter months.

"When they weren't here last year, we obviously didn't get the revenue from visiting teams, we certainly didn't get the revenue from patrons," said Jason Higgins from the hotel.

Even clothing stores felt the impact last season. Joseph's in Downtown Portland would outfit the entire team and management with custom-tailored suits. They missed that business and are looking forward to getting it back this season.

The Pirates now have a five-year lease at the newly-renovated arena in Downtown Portland.

The deal gives the team 57.5 and percent of the revenue from liquor and food sales. They have nearly 40 home games.

The team hopes the fans return and the city can reclaim the millions of dollars that come with hosting a professional hockey team.

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