Savannah’s new ECHL hockey team to start play in 2022

Construction continues on the new arena in Savannah.
Construction continues on the new arena in Savannah.(WTOC)
Updated: Jan. 27, 2021 at 7:10 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - A few more details were provided Wednesday about the City of Savannah’s new hockey franchise.

Watch the announcement stream below:

#WatchLIVE: City discusses pro hockey franchise coming to new Savannah Arena.

Posted by WTOC-TV on Wednesday, January 27, 2021

The team will begin play in 2022-2023 season in the ECHL, a AA league currently with 26 teams spread across 26 states and two Canadian provinces.

The team will be the first tenant of the new Savannah Arena, a factor the team says played a big part in choosing Savannah.

Savannah Professional Hockey Team President Bob Ohrablo says he believes Savannah can become a hockey town, and believes it can happen quickly.

“All you have to do is come out and see this once and then you’re literally hooked, which is a penalty in hockey by the way,” he jokes. “We want to create that atmosphere where people just have fun and they have a good time. We know that fans are going to love this.”

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson hosted a news conference Wednesday officially announcing the team. Mayor Johnson was joined by representatives of the Savannah Pro Hockey Team, ECHL, the Savannah Sports Council, and Oak View Group Facilities, the group managing the new arena.

Hockey is nothing new to the city of Savannah, but not at the professional level.

The Savannah Hockey Classic, pitting four college teams against one another, has been a popular event at the Savannah Civic Center every year since 1999.

Ohrablo says the success of that event also helped the team choose to make Savannah home.

“We saw the passion for the college hockey tournament that’s here and over at the Civic Center,” Ohrablo says. “That kind of proved to us that there is a good base here and we just need to build on that base of hockey fans.”

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