The Houston Aeros will no longer call Houston home once the American Hockey League playoffs end. The minor league affiliates of the NHL Minnesota Wild will now call Des Moines, Iowa home beginning next season. The move has caused some anger for those hockey fans in Houston who have supported the team throughout the years.
“Our organization has enjoyed tremendous support from the loyal, passionate hockey fans in Houston since 2001,” Aeros general manager Jim Mill said. “There is a great hockey history in Houston, beginning with the Apollos in 1965, and continuing with the Aeros in the WHA, IHL, and AHL. We are honored to have been part of this hockey tradition.”
The decision to move came down to a contract disagreement between the Aeros and the Toyota Center, where the Aeros currently play. It was reported that the Toyota Center wished to hold more concerts that would cut into the nights the Aeros would host home games, but neither side confirmed the statement.
“We were not able to find agreement on terms of a new arena lease which would allow us to continue to successfully operate our franchise. We thank the Toyota Center for the partnership we’ve had since moving there in 2003,” Minnesota Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said.
The Minnesota Wild has not issued any other public statement at this time regarding the move. So for hockey fans that have supported their hometown team, they will have one last chance to do so as the Aeros enter the AHL playoffs. They will begin a best of five series against the Grand Rapids Griffins on April 26th.