AHL’s Board of Governors votes unanimously to approve Seattle’s expansion application for the 32nd franchise to be located in Palm Springs, CA.
Sept.30, 2019 – American Hockey League (AHL) President and Chief Executive Officer David Andrews announced today that the AHL Board of Governors has awarded an expansion franchise to NHL Seattle and Oak View Group.
The AHL’s 32nd team will be the primary development affiliate of NHL Seattle and will play at a new arena on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation in Palm Springs, CA.
“On behalf of the AHL’s Board of Governors, I am thrilled to welcome the NHL Seattle and OVG ownership teams and the city of Palm Springs as the league’s 32nd franchise,” said Andrews. “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”
“The New Arena at Agua Caliente in Palm Springs is the first of its kind in downtown Palm Springs and will be an unmatched venue in the Coachella Valley for both music and sport,” said Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group. “We look forward to partnering with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and NHL Seattle on this project.”
Today AHL Palm Springs launches a ticket drive for season ticket deposits. By visiting AHLPalmSprings.com, fans can reserve general, club and suite locations. Season ticket memberships will include all AHL home games at the New Arena located at Agua Caliente in downtown Palm Springs.
The $250million project will break ground in early 2020 and will open in the fall of 2021.
“We are so excited to bring the first professional sports team to the Coachella Valley,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of NHL Seattle. “This is an exciting time for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and the greater Palm Springs area, as well as the hockey community and NHL Seattle. As we’re doing in Seattle, we will build a world-class organization that our fans will be proud to support.”
NHL Seattle and its AHL franchise will start playing in October 2021. General Manager, Ron Francis will lead hockey operations for both organizations.
“Palm Springs is a great location, and this is a top- notch facility for our players in the American Hockey League,” said Francis. “It gives us the opportunity to fully develop and train all our prospects to reach the NHL while bringing hockey to another fantastic market.”
About NHL Seattle Seattle
Hockey Partners (NHL Seattle) is responsible for leading the newly awarded Seattle National Hockey League franchise and the return to professional hockey in the Pacific Northwest. Follow NHL Seattle on social media to find out the latest news via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or search using the hashtag #NHLSeattle.
About Oak View Group (OVG)
Oak View Group (OVG) is a global sports and entertainment company founded by Tim Leiweke and Irving Azoff in 2015. OVG is focused on being a positive disruption to business as usual in the sports and live entertainment industry and currently has eight divisions across four global offices (Los Angeles, New York, London and Philadelphia). OVG is leading the redevelopment and operations of the New Arena at Seattle Center as well as leading arena development projects in Belmont, NY, Austin, TX and Milan, Italy.
The American Hockey League
In operation since 1936, the AHL serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives and broadcasters of every National Hockey League organization. Nearly 90 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers.