After 19 years, the Houston Aeros will be no more after this season.
The Minnesota Wild, who own the majority of the Aeros AHL franchise, were unable to reach a new lease agreement with the Toyota Center.
According to person familiar with the situation, the team [sought approval] Thursday from the AHL Board of Governors to relocate the franchise to Des Moines, Iowa starting next season.
The Iowa Wild would play at Well Fargo Arena, which holds over 15,000 for hockey. A press conference is expected on Monday in Des Moines.
According to the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, the Toyota Center felt they were turning away more profitable concerts to accommodate the Aeros, who often tie up weekend dates between October and April.
The Wild and sports authority sought, but were unable to find, a suitable alternate venue for the team in Houston.
See here for background. The approval was granted, and the team will henceforth be known as the Iowa Wild. My interpretation of this is that we shouldn’t expect another franchise to seek out Houston as its home anytime soon. If the Toyota Center isn’t available, it’s probably not worth their time. Sorry about that, hockey fans. Hair Balls has more.