Hockey team to play in Palm Springs


City News Service
PALM SPRINGS — The American Hockey League Board of Governors on Monday, Sept. 30 confirmed its award of an expansion franchise to NHL Seattle and Oak View Group, a sports and entertainment company, which together will establish a primary development affiliate that will play at a new arena on the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation in Palm Springs.
“On behalf of the AHL’s Board of Governors, I am thrilled to welcome the NHL Seattle … and the city of Palm Springs as the league’s 32nd franchise,” AHL President and CEO David Andrews said in a statement released this morning. “Palm Springs has all the makings of an outstanding hockey market and will further strengthen the growing base of our sport in California.”
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, said the New Arena at Agua Caliente in Palm Springs will be “the first of its kind in downtown Palm Springs and will be an unmatched venue in the Coachella Valley for both music and sport.”
“We look forward to partnering with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians and NHL Seattle on this project,” he said.
AHL Palm Springs will launch a ticket drive for season ticket deposits today. By visiting, 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 $250 million project will break ground in early 2020 and will open in the fall of 2021, according to a an AHL statement.
“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,” Francis said. “It gives us the opportunity to fully develop and train all our prospects to reach the NHL while bringing hockey to another fantastic market.”