Pelham Civic Complex hosts Xtreme International Ice Racing

Published 11:41 am Wednesday, March 8, 2023

By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

PELHAM – It was night of fun, motorcycles and speed on March 4 at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena as the Xtreme International Ice Racing event was held for the first time ever.

“Turnout was great, especially for an event that was new,” Director of Skating Susie Gray said. “I got a lot of calls and messages from patrons and individuals new to us asking me to describe what the event was all about being the first time ever held at our arena and a rare occurrence for arenas in the south. The diversity of the crowd, young, old, families, racing enthusiasts and curious hockey fans was cool because everyone had a great time together.”

Austin Bachman is the on the operations staff and is the Zamboni driver and said that everyone in attendance loved this event.

“It was fun for all ages and for people from a variety of backgrounds,” Bachman said. “They were really excited, the kids were ecstatic about it, events like these are like superhero level to kids.”

Gray said she hopes to see more events like this one make its way to the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena again after its success.

“It was our very first and, hopefully, the first of many at the Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena, but it’s not new to the states or even Alabama—the first ever in the United States was held up the road in Huntsville, Alabama back in the ‘70s,” Bachman said. “While mostly held in the northern states, I’m excited to bring it back to Alabama after several decades and excited to bring it to our amazing facility here in Pelham.”

Bachman said the true motorsports enthusiast wants people to have fun racing in a safe way and in a controlled and regulated environment.

“(True motorsports fans are) not out there on the streets breaking laws and causing chaos,” Bachman said. “Doing stuff like this is good for the motorsports community and brings awareness that you can have fun doing crazy things in a safe way.”

Taylor Kauhn from the food and beverage department said events like these truly bring people together.

“Getting out of your comfort zone and doing something that doesn’t make sense, it blows your mind because it can happen,” Bachman said. “I invited my racing friends and a lot of my friends from the drift track came. We have a large motorsports community and this type of even resonates with them even though they race cars, not bikes.”

Gray said that whenever new and exciting events are hosted, like this one, it brings more people in and exposes them to the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena facility.

“Events like these bring in revenue to our local businesses as people eat, get their gas, shop for necessities, and more right here in Pelham before and after the event,” Gray said. “It is important to bring as much family friendly entertainment to our community as possible. People need outlets for togetherness and fellowship. Exposure to our amazing city for those who are coming for an event such as this helps our businesses and other local attractions.”