ST. MUCUS—Expressing concern that the team might choose to relocate if a deal were not struck by the end of the offseason, Mutant Hockey League officials were reportedly pessimistic Friday that the owners of the St. Mucus Ooze would reach an agreement with the city to publicly finance a new arena.

The Ooze, one of the oldest franchises in the Toxic Conference, have reportedly been trying for months to negotiate a deal to replace the aging St. Mucus Arena in time for the 2019 MHL season. According to league insiders, city officials have been reluctant to fund construction of a modern facility that would offer expanded seating for the team’s troll, skeleton, and robot fan base.

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“We’re still hoping both parties will reach a compromise, but at this point it’s hard to see the city footing the bill for a giant slug to resurface the ice between periods, much less a whole new venue,” said an anonymous MHL executive, adding that a new arena was necessary to help St. Mucus stay competitive with larger hockey markets such as Slay City. “It’s obviously a huge project for the city to take on, but at the same time, the Ooze are part of St. Mucus history. Every kid who grows up there has that iconic Britt Skull jersey.”

“All you have to do is compare St. Mucus Arena to Madness Square Garden or the Pucksucker Pukes’ brand-new Puke Palace and it’s obvious the facilities are very outdated,” the executive added.

Team owners, who noted the wear and tear that the Ooze’s current home has endured from decades of exploding pucks and chainsaws thrown onto the ice by enthusiastic fans, also stressed that St. Mucus Arena’s poor sightlines and inadequate lighting deprive spectators of the best possible view of every powerplay, shootout, and game-changing dismemberment. However, city leaders have continued to push back against the cost of installing new demon nets, even after the team threatened a possible move to join the Cadavers in Montroyale if their demands were not met.

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According to sources, a proposed compromise to simply update St. Mucus Arena with modern amenities like fire pits, landmines, and ice sharks fell apart in early talks.

“This place has seen some of the greatest moments in Mutant Hockey League history, from Maim Zitsky’s record-breaking 74th playoff kill, to Steve Yzergone becoming the first player to decapitate an entire opposing team,” said the Ooze’s coach Scary, adding that St. Mucus Arena was just as synonymous with the Ooze as the Skunk Centre was with the Terminator Trolz. “But if fans want to keep the Ooze in St. Mucus, the team needs to be able to keep attracting top-tier talent—the Mario Lepuke’s and TORO-3000’s of tomorrow. And that’s not going to happen with a 30-year-old arena.”

“I mean, could you even imagine hosting the Monster Cup Championship here?” added Scary.

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