The ECHL announced on Monday that the Board of Governors has approved the Expansion Membership application of Worcester, Massachusetts for admission to the ECHL.
Worcester will begin play in October 2017 when the Premier ‘AA’ Hockey League opens its 30th season, making it the third-longest tenured professional hockey league behind only the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League.
Worcester will play its home games at the DCU Center, a 12,239-seat building located in downtown Worcester. The DCU Center opened in 1982 and underwent a multi-million dollar renovation which was completed in 2013.
“We are pleased to welcome Worcester, Massachusetts to the ECHL,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “Cliff Rucker made a very impressive presentation to our Board of Governors. He laid out a strong business plan, that has broad-based community support and is prepared to take the proper lead time to execute a successful introduction.”
“I am honored to be representing the city of Worcester and Central Massachusetts as the 29th Member of the ECHL and look forward to working with our staff to put together a winning team, that serves as a great ambassador of our region throughout the United States and Canada,” said Cliff Rucker, owner of the Worcester Membership.
“The Manchester Monarchs are very pleased to welcome Worcester to the ECHL,” said Matt Welch, president of the Monarchs. “Like our fans in Manchester, former Worcester AHL fans will be very impressed with the quality of play in the ECHL. We look forward to the start of a great rivalry.”
About the ECHL
Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 587 players who have started their career in the ECHL who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League, including 18 who have made their NHL debuts during the 2015-16 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking the 19th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com as well as on Facebook and Twitter.