May 17, 2012
“We are very pleased that the agreement yielded two new markets for the CHL,” said Duane Lewis, CHL Commissioner. “We are confident that both Bloomington and Quad City will be strong CHL markets for many years to come. We do want to thank the ownership groups in Dayton, Evansville and Fort Wayne for the positives that came from the two-year CHL/IHL agreement and wish them well in their future endeavors.”
The Bloomington market joined the CHL prior to the 2010-11 season as one of the CHL-IHL partners and played one season as the PrairieThunder before having their lease with the U.S. Cellular Coliseum terminated. A new ownership group, signed to a CHL agreement, was introduced to the city of Bloomington last summer and took on the team name ‘Blaze’.
The Quad City Mallards also joined the league as a part of the CHL/IHL agreement in 2010 and prior to the conclusion of this past season, announced they had fully joined the CHL.
“We recognized that the growth of the sport, specifically in the five IHL markets, was in a tough position in the summer of 2010 and that a partnership to play in the CHL would provide great entertainment for the hockey fans in Illinois, Indiana and Ohio while allowing the CHL to move towards securing a more long term relationship with those clubs,” said Lewis. “This afforded the IHL clubs a way to continue to operate for two seasons to provide their fans with the CHL professional hockey option. We are happy that both Bloomington and Quad City have joined our family.”