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Report: Minnesota looking to move AHL club from Houston to Iowa

Apr 18, 2013, 11:45 AM EDT

HoustonAeros

On Thursday, the Minnesota Wild will be asking for approval to move its AHL club from Houston to Des Moines, Iowa, according to Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

The club will reportedly seek this approval during an AHL Board of Governors conference call.

The Houston Aeros have been Minnesota’s AHL affiliate since 2001 but, in 2003, were purchased by and became an entity of Craig Leipold’s Minnesota Sports and Entertainment.

News of the potential Iowa move has also been reported by the Des Moines Register, which notes the state hasn’t had an AHL team since the Iowa Chops (affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks) left in 2009.

Here’s more, from the Register:

Iowa Events Center general manager Chris Connolly would not confirm the impending move but said the interest was “absolutely” there for games to be played at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines next season.

“Basically we’re just waiting on them. That’s what it’s coming down to,” Connolly told the Register late Wednesday night. “We’re waiting for them to work this out with the league.”

The Aeros won’t complete their regular season until Sunday. The Star-Tribune report said the team would be renamed the Iowa Wild, with a news conference scheduled for Monday in Des Moines.

Update:

According to the Pioneer Press, the move isn’t just about the Wild wanting to relocate its AHL affiliate.

Reports claim operators of Houston’s Toyota Center — where the Aeros currently play — have “decided they could make more money by hosting concerts and other events.”

The PP also reports the Wild’s rent was going to be increased for Aeros games, at which time the organization looked for a new home.

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Report: Flames moving AHL team from Abbotsford to Utica

(Image courtesy Aeros.com)

  1. credible316 - Apr 18, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    There’s a downtown Des Moines??

    • comeonnowguys - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      http://www.stationindex.com/tv/tv-markets

      Kind of funny, they’re only one rank behind Green Bay.

  2. rca26 - Apr 18, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Des Moines is a nice town, pretty underrated. Good move by the Wild to try to expand a secondary market.

    Feel bad for the Houston fans though, hate to see arena issues push a team out.

    • lordfletcher - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      Well said.

      happy that our AHL team will moving closer to “home” but I feel for the Houston fans. I would have gone a few times earlier in the season when the lockout was dragging on. For most Minnesotans this is a 3 hour or so drive

  3. esracerx46 - Apr 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Kind of surprised they didnt look into Peoria. Thats an established market and not that much further than Iowa.

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