Arena renovations force Lafayette hockey team IceGators to suspend operations for 2016-17 season _lowres

Advocate file photo by Buddy Delahoussaye -- Icegators Blake Hietala (20) facing off against RiverKings Cullen Bradshaw (15) on April 15, 2016, at the Cajundome.

The Louisiana IceGators will suspend operations for the 2016-17 hockey season because of renovations at the Cajundome, General Manager Louis Dumont said in a statement Monday.

“Arena renovations will begin at the end of this month at the Cajundome and will run through the end of November,” Dumont said. “Available dates during the month of December are also limited. With the Southern Professional Hockey League’s 2016-2017 season beginning in October, a feasible schedule is simply not available at this time.”

The team’s owners and staff members met with Cajundome management to try to find options to play the season, but they concluded suspending operations for the season is “the best route to take,” Dumont said.

The IceGators closed out the 2015-16 season with a semifinals series loss to the RiverKings in April, which eliminated Louisiana from the the Southern Professional Hockey League playoffs.