ECHL Approves A Pair Of Expansion Franchises

The ECHL announced on Tuesday that they have approved Trois-Rivières and Coralville as the two newest expansion teams to the mid-level professional league. This brings the total number of teams up to 28. There had been a lot of buzz the past few months, however, nothing was set in stone until Tuesday afternoon. Both teams will start play in 2021-22 and are owned by Dean MacDonald, who owns the Newfoundland Growlers.

The Growlers, based in St. John’s, are owned by Dean MacDonald through the Deacon Sports and Entertainment group. Coralville will play out of Xtreme Arena, which was completed in September by the city of Iowa. Trois-Rivières will play out of Le Nouveau Colisee, which is set to hold 4,390 fans.

As such, the arena’s capacity will overtake Cool Insuring Arena as the league’s smallest building. Team names, colours and branding for both organizations will be unveiled later on.

Montreal And San Jose Possibly Getting ECHL Affiliates

It comes as no shock to anyone that the new Trois-Rivieres expansion franchise will affiliate with the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal hasn’t had an ECHL team since the Brampton Beast in 2017-18. Mark Weightman is the President and CEO of Trois Rivieres and has ties to Montreal. The franchise, once instated, will likely be the North Division’s seventh team.

The Coralville organization is likely to be affiliated with the Iowa and Minnesota Wild. This would be the case seeing as the Allen Americans contract with the Wild expires at the end of this season. Coralville will likely join the Central Division, which would make all divisions in the ECHL even. The ownership group in Coralville is still unknown and will be revealed later on.

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