The official sweater of the newly minted Iowa Wild American Hockey League team. The Iowa Wild are the minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild. (Mandatory Credit: www.wild.nhl.com)

It’s Official—Houston Aeros to Become Iowa Wild


The Minnesota Wild has officially announced the relocation of their minor league affiliate from Houston, Texas to Des Moines, Iowa. The Wild will begin play this Fall at the Wells Fargo Center, a 16,000 seat arena that opened in 2005.

“We are excited to announce that the Iowa Wild will begin play in the 2013-14 AHL season,” said Wild Owner Craig Leipold at today’s Iowa press conference. “Des Moines is an excellent sports market. Wild fan support is excellent not just in the State of Hockey but throughout the Upper Midwest, including Iowa. We know fans in Des Moines will enjoy watching tomorrow’s Minnesota Wild stars. Our team will be entrenched in this community, particularly in youth hockey.”

“The American Hockey League is looking forward to returning to Iowa this fall,” said AHL President and CEO David Andrews. “Under the leadership of the Minnesota Wild and with the support of the Des Moines community, we are confident that the Iowa Wild will be a successful franchise for years to come.”

“The Board of Supervisors is excited to welcome the Iowa Wild and AHL hockey back to Wells Fargo Arena. The Wild’s commitment brings 100 jobs to our community and we look forward to seeing the first puck drop in Wells Fargo Arena this fall,” stated Polk County Board of Supervisors Chair Tom Hockensmith.

In addition to revealing the team name, Wild brass also unveiled the franchise’s new logo and sweater. With that, reality has finally set in for many that the Houston Aeros are no more and the Iowa Wild have taken their place. If anything can be gleaned from this press conference, it’s that the Minnesota Wild is very serious about professional hockey in Des Moines. The logo and sweater chosen for their AHL affiliate is worthy of a look as a future alternate for the big club and is a variation of Minnesota’s current alternate home jersey.

This is a team that isn’t moving to a new location for just a little while; this is a team building their brand, further entrenching themselves into the Midwestern sports landscape and expanding their fan base outside of the State of Hockey. As a Wild and Aeros fan, and sports writer covering them, I wasn’t sure how I felt with this move, but today’s press conference shows a team dedicated to the organization and giving their fans top notch hockey at all levels of play. Their verbal commitment to youth hockey in the community only further proves it. Iowa is a state with several USHL and NAHL junior teams, the arrival of an AHL franchise in the state capital may go a long way in developing current interest in the sport.

The Wild will begin play this Fall at the Wells Fargo Center, a 16,000 seat arena that opened in 2005. The official team website is now live at Iowawild.com.

Tags: Iowa Wild

  • http://www.facebook.com/alvin.mott.56 Alvin Mott

    The Aeros were in Houston this time around for 20 years. This year the average attendance ranked 7th in the AHL. Imagine my shock when I hear the team’s last minute announcement that they are uprooting and moving to Iowa next season!! I just loved the article in the Houston Business Journal where the interm president claims that the team made “efforts” to keep the team in Houston before deciding to move. REALLY??? Allegedly the team did not consider moving out of state about six weeks ago. They already have their new team name, logo design, and sweaters made up along with an arena lease. That’s a lot of stuff to get accomplished in a meager six weeks!!! Heck, at least be honest when you give your interviews. Since the team obviously had no intention on staying in Houston, tell us so! Don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining. What a way to kick your loyal fans square in the face!!!!!

    • Gill Grylls

      i have to agree in many ways with this. because I am an aeros fan i will go for them but once their last game is played as a houston team i really wont care for them. i love hockey and ive been an aeros fan since the 90s but the decision to leave cant solely be blamed on Les ALexander. Im sure it was their plan to leave in order to be closer to MInnesota. its ok i dont live in houston anymore but i still enjoyed keeping up with them. ill stick with my fav team….LA Kings

    • Gill Grylls

      i have to agree in many ways with this. because I am an aeros fan i will go for them but once their last game is played as a houston team i really wont care for them. i love hockey and ive been an aeros fan since the 90s but the decision to leave cant solely be blamed on Les ALexander. Im sure it was their plan to leave in order to be closer to MInnesota. its ok i dont live in houston anymore but i still enjoyed keeping up with them. ill stick with my fav team….LA Kings

  • ex_navy

    I hope the Houston fans will abandon the Aeros during this playoff run the same way that the Aeros have abandon them.