After the announcement earlier this year of two new expansion franchises expected to join the ECHL for the 2021-22 season, the minor league was up to 28 teams. By 2022-23, that number will increase by one more after the league’s board of governors approved an expansion application of Savannah, Georgia for admittance to the league.
Andy Kauffman, who also owns the Jacksonville Icemen, will be the new Savannah owner, and the team will play in Savannah Arena, a new 7,300-seat construction set to be completed in Spring 2022. ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin released a statement on the new team:
The ECHL is excited to welcome the City of Savannah as our newest member. We have a great working relationship with Andy his management group and we look forward to bringing ECHL hockey to the Savannah community in October 2022 and the creation of natural rivalries with the Atlanta Gladiators, South Carolina Stingrays, Greenville Swamp Rabbits and Jacksonville Icemen.
Oak View Group, who are also responsible for the construction of Climate Pledge Arena (NHL Seattle), Palm Spring Arena (AHL Palm Springs), and UBS Arena in Belmont Park (NHL NY Islanders), has been hired to manage and operate the new Savannah Arena.