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Winnipeg Ice on the Move to Washington

June 16, 2023 1:35 PM | Sports

Winnipeg Ice

The Winnipeg Ice have been sold and will be moving to Wenatchee, Washington. (WINNIPEGICE.CA)

The WHL’s Winnipeg Ice have been sold and are moving south of the border.

The team is heading to Wenatchee, Washington after being purchased by businessman David White of the California-based Shoot the Puck Foundation.

The Ice had only four seasons in Winnipeg after relocating to the city from Cranbrook, B.C. under the ownership of Greg Fettes, CEO of IntouchCX, in 2019.

The franchise relocated to Winnipeg on the condition of building its own arena near its practice facility just off McGillivray Boulevard. That never came to fruition, with the pandemic shelving development plans indefinitely. After investing in facility upgrades, the Ice ended up playing all of their home games at the small Wayne Fleming Arena on the University of Manitoba campus.

“Unfortunately, multiple attempts by the Ice ownership to construct an arena facility of acceptable WHL standards in Winnipeg, based on the agreed upon timeframes, were unsuccessful, leading to the relocation to Wenatchee,” the league said.

In an email to season seat holders on Friday, the Ice said:

On behalf of the entire Winnipeg ICE organization we will be forever grateful for your support over the last 4 years. The impact that we collectively were able to have in the community, with your support, is something that the organization took a tremendous amount of pride in.

This is a sad day and not an outcome anyone wanted to see happen. During the last 4 years there have been many challenges that you have supported the team through, including a pandemic.  The spirit and passion for the community was always an inspiration to our team on and off the ice. Any payments that have been made for the 2023-2024 season will be refunded to your payment methods in the coming weeks.

The Ice say the sale and relocation of the hockey franchise has received the approval of the WHL Board of Governors and is effective immediately.

In a news release, the Ice thanked the fans, players, staff, billets, community and business partners for their support and engagement with the team. They also expressed thanks to Shaftesbury High School and the University of Manitoba for their partnership.