It’s official: The Chicago Blackhawks now own their AHL affiliate, The Rockford IceHogs.
The deal was made official prior to a press conference on Wednesday morning at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford with Blackhawks Chairman Rocky Wirtz, CEO Danny Wirtz, and Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in attendance. RAVE (Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment) voted unanimously to approve the sale of the IceHogs to the Blackhawks for $11.8M and a 15-year lease agreement to continue to play at the BMO Harris Bank Center.
— Jay Taft (@JayTaft) April 7, 2021
In March, it was first reported that the Blackhawks want to make upwards of $20 million in improvements to the BMO Harris Bank Center, and that $16 million of which has already been secured in state funds. It was announced at the press conference that the renovations will actual be $23M in improvements to the arena.
From the press release on the Blackhawks purchase of the IceHogs: “The renovation, combined with the sale of the team and the long-term commitment to the facility, will generate $382M in net spending and retain 358 jobs over the next 15 years.”
— Mario Tirabassi (@Mario_Tirabassi) April 7, 2021
The IceHogs have been the AHL affiliate of the Blackhawks since the 2007-08 season. With the purchase of the IceHogs, the Blackhawks become the 21st NHL club to own their AHL affiliate, including the expansion Seattle Kraken.