For a brief moment on April Fools’ Day, hockey fans reading a City Council member’s Facebook page may have had a moment of hope that the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers would be revived in Sandy Springs.
“Thrilled that the Thrashers are returning to ATL, with their new home in Sandy Springs,” Councilmember Andy Bauman joked on his Facebook. “Kudos to Mayor Rusty Paul, members of the Council (John Paulson, Jody Louza Reichel, Steve Soteres, Tibby DeJulio, and Chris Burnett) for keeping the secret. Details including arena location to be announced at Wednesday night’s City Council meeting.”
The Atlanta Thrashers were a professional ice hockey team that played in Philips Arena, now named State Farm Arena, in downtown Atlanta. The team infamously was sold in 2011 and moved to Winnipeg in Canada, becoming the Jets.
While Sandy Springs did recently finish its grand venture into opening theater that hosts Broadway-style musicals and other events, an ice hockey rink fit for a major league team is not likely to fit.
Metro Atlanta has had other recent sports surprises that were true, including the Atlanta Hawks opening a practice facility in Brookhaven and the Atlanta Braves’ sudden move to Cobb County.
The Atlanta City Studio, a program of the city’s Department of City Planning, played its own April Fools’ joke about an Atlanta sports team returning to the city. The department launched a website complete with detailed renderings of a new stadium for the Braves at a former baseball stadium location across from Ponce City Market.