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.
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.
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.
(Image courtesy Aeros.com)