ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Blues President of Hockey Operations and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the Blues have signed a five-year affiliation agreement with the American Hockey League's (AHL) Springfield Thunderbirds.
The agreement will begin with the 2020-21 season.
"We are excited to announce our deal with Springfield and close our search for a new affiliate," said Armstrong. "Springfield is a strong franchise in a city with a rich hockey history. Our partnership will allow us to continue to develop our players and further strengthen our franchise as a whole."
"We are pleased to announce our affiliation agreement with the St. Louis Blues," said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. "Our two organizations share a commitment to community, fan engagement, and putting a first-rate product on the ice. With this partnership, we believe the future is bright for professional hockey in Springfield."
The Thunderbirds are based in Springfield, Massachusetts, and joined the AHL in the 2016-17 season. The team plays its home games at MassMutual Center, a multi-purpose arena and convention center located in downtown Springfield. Owned by a broad-based group of local investors, the Thunderbirds franchise is committed to building an exciting and innovative brand of sports entertainment and maintaining professional hockey as a civic asset for the region.
Since its inception, the franchise has seen significant growth in the areas of attendance, revenue generation, and community engagement. Thunderbirds teams have played before a sellout crowd of 6,793 on 28 occasions, and the franchise has been recognized at the league level for business excellence in the areas of Ticket Sales, Community Relations, and Corporate Sales.
In January of 2019, the franchise hosted and sold out both nights of the AHL All-Star Classic in just the team's third year of existence.