For the second time, the Houston Aeros are leaving the Bayou City.
The current Aeros organization made official Thursday what many had expected. They are leaving Houston for Des Moines, Iowa.
The Aeros’ lease with the Toyota Center ends at the end of the current season and the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement on a new one.
“We were not able to find agreement on terms of a new arena lease which would allow us to continue to successfully operate our franchise. We thank Toyota Center for the partnership we’ve had since moving there in 2003,” Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said.
The team has already completed the home portion of its regular season schedule and has three more road games to play.
Though the home portion of their schedule is done, there will likely be more Aeros hockey at the Toyota Center before the move. Houston is currently fifth in the Western Conference standings with those three games left to play. If the team makes the postseason, there will be at least one more game at the Toyota Center.
After a failed stint in the 1970s, the Aeros began play again in 1994 as part of the International Hockey League. The team joined the American Hockey League and partnered with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild in 2001.
“Our organization has enjoyed tremendous support from the loyal, passionate hockey fans in Houston since 2001,” Aeros General Manager Jim Mill said. “There is a great hockey history in Houston, beginning with the Apollos in 1965, and continuing with the Aeros in the WHA, IHL and AHL. We are honored to have been a part of this hockey tradition.”