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Bloomington Announces the Arrival of Minor League Hockey

Written by on January 29, 2024

Photo provided by Anthony Nelson

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – On Jan. 26, 2024, the City of Bloomington held a press conference to announce the name of the city’s new hockey team. In cooperation with the ECHL minor-league hockey division, the Bloomington Bison will come to city of Bloomington. 

In 2023, Hallett Sports and Entertainment reached out to the city as they searched for a location to host a hockey team. After several phone conversations and in-person visits to Grossinger Motors Arena, the city and the Hallett’s concluded a partnership would be successful for both parties.

Director of Arts and Entertainment Anthony Nelson expanded on the details of the minor league hockey team.

Nelson shared Bloomington’s interest in the Hallett family, “The hockey is good, but they put on a great show for families and anyone who is at the game as far as entertainment,” he said. “The hockey is exciting, but the entertainment is what really draws people in.”

The team’s name is in reference to Midwest history, as bison used to roam the “Prairie State” of Illinois, as well as a form of alliteration.

The roster is yet to develop but will be affiliated with an NHL team.

“They will get five to seven players that are under contract with that NHL team, and then the rest they’ll go out and find for next year,” Nelson said.

He went on to emphasize the importance of Bloomington’s upcoming attraction for the arena, downtown businesses and community.

Nelson explained, “We’re excited to not only be able to offer the hockey but also host all the people who might come to dinner before the game and go out afterwards as well as the opposing fans traveling and staying in the hotels.”

He added that since the area is a college market the arena will serve as a location for students to attend for a fun night out.

Nelson concluded with sharing that those interested in 2024-2025 season tickets could visit the Bloomington Bison website.