Colorado joining ECHL next season.

The ECHL announced Tuesday that its Board of Governors has approved the expansion membership application of the Colorado Eagles, bringing the league to 20 teams for next season.

Colorado plays its home games at the Budweiser Events Center, a 5,289-seat building located in Loveland, Colorado that opened in 2003. Colorado has been a member of the Central Hockey League since the 2003-04 season, and has sold out every regular season and playoff game in team history. According to the ECHL’s official release, the team’s 311 consecutive sellouts is an all-time record for minor league professional hockey.

“We are pleased to welcome the Colorado Eagles to the ECHL,” ECHL commissioner Brian McKenna said in a statement. “The Eagles strong fan support, community involvement and history of on-ice success make them an excellent addition to our Western Conference. Team ownership and management have built an exceptional brand and business organization over the past decade. We are proud to have them as the newest Member of the ECHL.”

The news should come as welcome news to the Reign, who were facing competition in a seven-team Western Conference after the Victoria Salmon Kings officially folded in May.

News of Colorado’s potential addition has been circulating the rumor mill for more than a month. The ECHL’s release did not indicate which division the Eagles will play in, but it would make sense for them to replace Victoria in a four-team Mountain Division with Alaska, Idaho and Utah.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.
  • Mr. Edgar Venegas

    Welcome to the ECHL Colorado Eagles. They made a good choice in stepping up. The fans in Colorado are excited.

  • Ralph Cooper

    By adding a new team no automatic play off spot the Reign will have to earn it. Bad luck for the Reign.