EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - The Southern Professional Hockey League is coming to Evansville.
It was announced Monday that local businessman and long-time hockey fan Mike Hall will own a new franchise that will play at the Ford Center.
This comes after the Evansville IceMen announced they are moving to Owensboro.
"On behalf of the league's Board of Governors, we are excited to welcome Evansville into the SPHL for the 2016-17 season," said President of the SPHL, Jim Combs. "I would like to thank Mayor Winnecke, the city of Evansville, the Ford Center, and especially Mike Hall for their commitment to the SPHL. We look forward to working with everyone involved to get this team off the ground and running for the loyal hockey fans of Evansville."
We're told the new team, which hasn't been named yet, will play 28 home games for the 2016-17 season.
Although the Evansville IceMen still have 15 home games, the new team's management is already looking for coaches. An expansion draft will be held in May.
According to Hall, season ticket packages will be available in early March. If you are a season ticket holder for the IceMen, you can expect a drop in prices and your current seats will stay the same.
"As a local hockey fan, I am honored to play an integral part of the next chapter in Evansville's hockey history," said Hall. "My family's investment to my belief that the SPHL model works and will produce an entertaining and competitive hockey experience at the Ford Center."
The contract between the SPHL and the city of Evansville expires in five years.