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Allentown hockey team plans arena groundbreaking

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 29 2012 12:24:19 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 29 2012 05:32:11 PM CST

Groundbreaking ceremony held for Allentown arena

ALLENTOWN, Pa. -

Have you heard?

Minor league hockey is coming to Allentown.

Construction on the arena has been going on for a little while now but Thursday  the team wanted to make it official.

Some people say it's hard to find the words that truly express what this day means for the city of Allentown.

Mayor Ed Pawlowski calls it the rebirth of the city.

"Today the excitement is building," said Lehigh Valley Phantoms owner Jim Brooks.

Brooks says he and his  brother, Rob, are excited.  He says it's a dream come true to finally have a team here in Allentown

"There's definitely been a lot of ups and a lot of downs and we never gave up because of these leaders," he said.

Leaders like Pennsylvania State Representative Jennifer Mann, Mayor Ed Pawlowski and the person many credit for scoring the power play of getting the arena, State Senator Pat Browne.

"With the ground breaking today a new structure, a new complex will emerge, now to be shared by millions. Offering activities so diverse and so vibrant that it will mark our community's newest victory," said Sen. Browne.

"I want to say thank you Rob and Jim Brooks and everyone who believes Allentown's best days are ahead of us," said Mayor Pawlowski.

Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski calls the day the start of Allentown's winning streak.

The shovels may have hockey sticks for the handles but it's more than hockey that will help Allentown's economy.  Many say with the multi-million dollar arena, hotel, retail and residential space Allentown's future looks pretty bright.

"Thank you so much. Go Phantoms," said Pawlowski.

The puck drops in the new arena in 2014.