STOCKTON, CA -- The Stockton AHL franchise, owned by the Calgary Flames, announce that the team will be known as the Stockton Heat beginning fall 2015. The announcement was made Wednesday night at the University Plaza Waterfront Hotel during the first intermission of the Stockton Thunder watch party.
Team President Dave Piecuch and the Mayor of Stockton Anthony Silva shared the stage, as the new team name and logo were unveiled before a large crowd of fans eagerly waiting to be the first to get a glimpse of the new look.
“Calgary wanted to rebrand the team for a couple of reasons,” Piecuch said. “First, they wanted the fans to have no confusion that this is a new team at a higher level. They were also eager for a fresh start for hockey in the City of Stockton under a new banner.”
The new owners opened a name the team contest so that the fans could have a say in what the new name would be. The name Stockton Heat was selected as the winner out of a group of five finalists submitted by the fans.
“The Flames were excited to open the name the team contest to the fans so that they could have their voices heard,” Piecuch said. “There were close to 10,000 entries in the contest. Of the seven most popular entries, five of them were Flames-related, and those became the five finalists. The name Heat, which was one of the most-entered names, was chosen out of the five finalists because the Central Valley is certainly known for its heat and it kept the name weather related, something that California is known for across the world.”
Piecuch and Mayor Silva showed off the new sweaters as the announcement was made. The new jerseys represent a new era for hockey in Stockton and are a symbol for how successful the marriage between hockey and the City of Stockton has been for the past decade.
The fan reaction at the reveal was very positive as fans in attendance were excited to see the new logo and begin the next decade of hockey in Stockton.
The winner of the name the team contest was Daniel Harms as he walked away with the grand prize of two season tickets for next year’s inaugural AHL season and a brand new Stockton Heat sweater to wear at all of next year’s home games.
Other lucky fans in attendance walked away with some first-edition merchandise with the new name and logo, as hats, t-shirts and even one of the new jerseys were raffled off throughout the night.
Fans can reserve their seats for the inaugural Heat season in the AHL by calling (209) 373-1500. For more information, visit StocktonThunder.com/ahl.