BOISE, Idaho — The National Hockey League is coming to the City of Trees. Idaho Central Arena and the Idaho Steelheads will host an NHL Preseason contest between the Arizona Coyotes and Vegas Golden Knights October 8.
The exhibition match will be the first time the NHL has played a preseason game in Boise since 1997, when the Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks faced off prior to the Steelheads' inaugural season.
Arizona will be the designated home team for the Saturday game, with puck drop scheduled for 6 p.m. It will be the final exhibition game for both teams ahead of the 2022-2023 NHL regular season.
After teasing a “major announcement regarding hockey in Boise” since July 1, the Steelheads revealed the NHL’s plan to play in Boise at a press conference Wednesday on the Idaho Central Arena floor.
Idaho Steelheads season ticket holders will have the first rights to purchase their tickets for the NHL matchup until August 3, before they go on sale for the general public.
Tickets will range between $45 and $100, depending on location in the arena. Project Filter is the title sponsor of the event.
“We are excited to be able to bring NHL hockey back to the Treasure Valley for the first time in 25 years,” President of Idaho Sports Properties, Eric Trapp said. “We have been working on this every year since the inception of the Steelheads, so we couldn’t be more pleased to have these two great NHL teams visit Idaho Central Arena and Boise thanks to the help of Project Filter.”
Vegas finished the 2022 season in third in the Pacific Division with a record of 43-31-8. The Golden Knights captured national headlines after making the Stanley Cup Final in their inaugural 2017-2018 season.
“We know there are plenty of VGK fans in Boise and we are excited to give them a chance to see the Golden Knights in person. It will be a great event for them at an important stage of the preseason as we prepare for 2022-23,” Golden Knights General Manager, Kelly McCrimmon said.
Arizona struggled last season, finishing in last place in the Western Division with a 25-50-7 record.
Idaho Central Arena's holds 5,006 people. The Steelheads average more than 4,000 fans per game and 160,000 fans per season.
"We are excited to play the Golden Knights at Idaho Central Arena. We look forward to bringing NHL hockey to the great fans in Idaho on October 8,” Coyotes General Manager, Bill Armstrong said.
The last time the NHL touched down in Idaho was back in 2018, when the Steelheads hosted the Dallas Stars for a three-day training camp and a team scrimmage.
Back in 2015, Boise hosted its first international soccer game at Albertsons Stadium between Spain's Athletic Bilbao and Mexico's Club Tijuana. The historic events saw thousands turn out to watch sports on the national level in Idaho.
Athletic Bilbao defeated Club Tijuana 2-0 in Boise's Basque Soccer friendly.
The Gem State's hockey team officially became the Idaho Steelheads in 1996. The Steelheads competed in the West Coast Hockey League (WCHL) until 2003, when they joined the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).
The Steelheads and six other WCHL organizations, the Alaska Aces, Bakersfield Condors, Fresno Falcons, Las Vegas Wranglers, Long Beach Ice Dogs and San Diego Gulls, all became members of the ECHL.
Idaho won three division titles and made the Taylor Cup twice in the WCHL. Since joining the ECHL, the Steelheads have won the Kelly Cup twice, in 2004 and 2007.
The Steelheads are affiliates of the AHL's Texas Stars and NHL's Dallas Stars.
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