Teams in focus – Basingstoke Bison

The Basingstoke Bison was founded in 1988, as the Basingstoke Beavers. In 1995, the Beavers opted for a name change to their current name Basingstoke Bison. 

The Bison have jumped between various leagues. The Basingstoke Bison played in the EIHL between 2003 and 2009, only stepping down to the EPIHL due to financial difficulties resulting in the arena owner Planet Ice stepping in to ensure the team’s survival. 

The Basingstoke Bison has a good record in all competitions they have participated in. Providing to be competitive despite various financial constraints.   

Despite arguably, its best season in 2006 – 2007. The Bracknell Bees owner, David Taylor purchased the team. Making it clear that he wanted to go in a different direction, he appointed Ryan Aldridge as the new head coach. Economical failure followed, and the club was promptly sold to Tomas Enerston. With various issues both on and off the ice, Ryan Aldridge left the team, citing a breakdown in the relationship with the owner. A highlight of the difficulties was the Bison needing to buy a left-handed stick for a player, from an opposing team just before a match due to equipment shortages.   

After Planet Ice stepped in again to help the struggling team, it came as no surprise when it was announced that the Basingstoke Bison would step down and play in the EPIHL the next season. This was welcomed by fans who regarded the lesser costs of a lower league to mean more stability. 

Since those troubled times, the Bison have turned a corner, going from a financially unstable outfit to a thriving lower-league team. Having won silverware in the 2013 – 2014, 2015 – 2016 and 2017 – 2018 seasons. As the stability has brought good results, support for the Basingstoke Bison has slowly grown further.

If you would like to visit the Planet Ice Silverdome Arena for a Bison game, you can buy tickets on the link here

For more information about the NIHL, you can check out the website here

 

 

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