Minor League Sports

ECHL gives formal approval for franchise in Coralville

Team will begin play in 2021-22 season

Xtream Arena in Coralville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
Xtream Arena in Coralville on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

The ECHL’s Board of Governors approved Tuesday membership applications for two expansion hockey clubs for the 2021-22 season including one that will play in Coralville at the new Xtream Arena.

The as-yet-to-be-named Coralville team is owned by Deacon Sports and Entertainment of Canada, which also owns ECHL member Newfoundland. It announced in the fall it was seeking to bring a minor-pro team to the Corridor.

“We are excited to bring professional hockey to Coralville,” said Dean MacDonald, Chair of Deacon Sports and Entertainment, in a statement. “The ECHL product will be a great addition to an already vibrant sports landscape in the region. This announcement is a credit to our strong partnership with the City of Coralville, led by Mayor John Lundell and his significant efforts in helping this initiative happen.”

“This announcement continues to build on the excitement and energy generated by the Xtream Arena here in Coralville.” Lundell said. “We look forward to a long-standing and successful partnership with Dean and his organization that will provide entertainment for our families, friends, and neighbors. I know both existing and future hockey fans from Coralville and across Iowa will enjoy the level of competition and rich history associated with the ECHL.”

The Coralville expansion team will be joined by one from Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. The ECHL is considered a Double-A level league that has 26 members around the United States and Canada.

Quad Cities had a team in the league from 2014 to 2018.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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