ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford IceHogs will soon have new owners.
The City of Rockford currently owns the IceHogs. The team’s affiliation agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks is due to expire next year.
But now, the arrangement is changing.
A source tells Eyewitness News the Blackhawks will be buying the IceHogs from the City, and remain committed to keeping the franchise team in Rockford.
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The Blackhawks reportedly want to make upwards of $20 million in improvements to the BMO Harris Bank Center, $16 million of which has already been secured in state funds so Rockford taxpayers won’t be on the hook for that money.
The move also benefits the Rockford Area Venues and Entertainment Authority (RAVE), which operates the BMO Harris Bank Center. RAVE has been paying $400,000 per year to the Blackhawks as part of the affiliation agreement.
RAVE will also benefit from the upgrades at the BMO, which it hopes will help to bring in other forms of top entertainment.
The official announcement is expected on Wednesday, following a RAVE board meeting.