Hockey back to Topeka? Events center confirms talks are underway

Topeka last had a hockey team from 2018 to 2020.
Published: Mar. 22, 2023 at 3:06 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Hockey could be skating its way back to Topeka.

The group Hammerstone Holdings, Inc. announced via the 2 Minutes for Roughing podcast that they were in talks with the FPHL (Federal Prospect Hockey League) to bring the Golden City Bombers to Topeka as an expansion team. They hope to have the team up and running in time for the 2023/2024 season. The FPHL currently has 10 teams in markets including Binghamton, Elmira and Watertown, NY; Fraser and Port Huron, MI; Columbus, GA; and Winston-Salem, NC.

The group also launched a Twitter account, @GCBomber, saying they “are working hard to bring professional hockey back to Topeka, KS.”

Kellen Seitz, general manger of the Stormont Vail Events Center, confirmed they started talking with the group a couple weeks ago, and met again Wednesday. He said nothing has been finalized yet and the process is very early on, but he understands some people in the community will be excited to hear the news.

Seitz said the ice floor system and equipment all reman in place under Landon Arena. Seitz said any contract would be between the venue and the tenant, but he would keep the Shawnee Co. Commission informed, so they can be assured any agreement makes financial sense.

On the podcast, Mathew Torgerson said the team has hired an announcer, is in talks with a coach, and is working on bringing in a scout. Torgeson said they chose the name “Bombers” as a tribute to Topeka’s connections to the Air Force, as well as a nod to the city’s prior minor league hockey team, the Pilots.

Topeka last had a hockey team from 2018 to 2020. The Topeka Pilots played at the SVEC until their second season was cut short by the COVID pandemic. They’d already announced plans to relocate to Kansas City for what would have been their 2020-2021 season. Before that, Topeka hosted various teams, including the RoadRunners, Tarantulas and Scarecrows.

13 NEWS has sent messages to Torgerson and Hammerstone Holdings, Inc. and is awaiting a response.