PRINCETON, N.J. – After months of speculation, the ECHL finally made it official Tuesday, announcing the addition of two new teams for next season.
The league announced they have approved the expansion applications for Coralville, Iowa, and Trois-Rivières, Quebec.
Coralville and Trois-Rivières are both owned by Dean MacDonald through Deacon Sports and Entertainment, which also owns the Newfoundland Growlers in the league. Coralville will play out of Xtreme Arena, a 5,100-seat venue which was completed in September 2020, while Trois-Rivières will play out of Le Nouveau Colisée, a new arena that will host 4,390 fans.
“This is an extremely exciting day for the ECHL and the future of our League, welcoming these two great markets and beautiful state-of-the-art facilities,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “We have a great history of working with Dean’s ownership group and leadership team and look forward to bringing ECHL hockey to Trois-Rivieres and Coralville, making an impact as an asset to these communities.”
“We are thrilled to help bring professional hockey to Coralville and Trois-Rivières,” said Dean MacDonald Chair of Deacon Sports and Entertainment. “Residents in both markets have responded with incredible enthusiasm for the ECHL product and now that our membership is official, we are one step closer to dropping the puck in the fall. This announcement is a credit to our strong partnerships with both municipalities, led by Mayor John Lundell of Coralville, Iowa and Mayor Jean Lamarche of Trois-Rivières, Quebec, and their significant efforts in helping this initiative happen.”
It is expected that the new Coralville franchise will be in the central division of the Western Conference, while Trois-Rivieres will likely join the north division of the Eastern Conference.