Tahoe Blue Event Center to partner with football legend Tim Tebow on professional hockey team
STATELINE, Nev. – Lake Tahoe will have a professional hockey team thanks to former NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow in partnership with David Hodges, CEO of Hodges Management Group LLC and management/operations team of Zawyer Sports & Entertainment.
Tebow, who is a minority partner in two ECHL, formerly known as East Coast Hockey League teams, attended an event at the Tahoe Blue Event Center on Monday, July 10. While Tebow said he wants to have a winning team, he also wants a place for families to make memories for years to come.
“We hope that it’s a winning product on the ice but we hope it’s so much more,” Tebow said, adding he hopes to inspire the community’s youth to have “faith, hope and love to live out dreams so [they] can look up to some of [their] heroes.”
More than a sports arena, Tebow said “it will be a place of character, strength, and honor.”
Florida will remain home for Tebow, he told the Tribune “I believe in the people we get to partner with- everyone here and our purpose; Our purpose is to bring the community together and give them something to celebrate.”
The professional hockey team name will be selected by way of competition, which will end August 5, according to a statement from the event center the team is expected to begin playing for 2024-2025 season. More details regarding the competition will follow.
“The [East Coast Hockey League] proudly welcomes the 29th Member Team to the League in the brand new Tahoe Blue Event Center, expanding our geography in the western part of the continent, and creating natural rivalries for visiting fans with the Idaho Steelheads, Utah Grizzlies, and the entire Mountain Division,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin, Commissioner of the ECHL.
“This new team will offer the only professional sports action in the region, giving locals a hometown team and fast-paced entertainment, with a commitment to giving back and growing the game of hockey in the community. This ownership and operating group have already shown the ability to create a new generation of ECHL fans, and we look forward to the excitement they will bring to South Tahoe.”
According to a statement released by the Tahoe Blue Event Center, the team will play its home games at the new Tahoe Blue Events Center, the 4,200-seat arena scheduled to open later this month. The multi-purpose arena is located in Stateline and is managed by OVG360, a division of Oak View Group which owns and operates two National Hockey League properties Seattle, Wash., and Belmont Park, N.Y., and manages two additional NHL arenas in Pittsburgh, Penn., and Phoenix, Ariz., as well as multiple AHL, ECHL and college hockey Arenas across North America.
The Tahoe team will have an NHL partner which is expected to be announced in February 2024.
“We are excited to welcome the newest ECHL franchise to Tahoe and the Tahoe Blue Event Center,” said Kevin Boryczki, General Manager, Tahoe Blue Events Center. “The atmosphere inside the arena is going to be electric for both the fans and players.”
The arena is located at the center of the busy Lake Tahoe area which attracts more than 15 million visitors annually spurred by skiing and casinos.
“As a recreation and sports-passionate destination that has hosted numerous high caliber sports over the years, we welcome the ECHL to Lake Tahoe and the Tahoe Blue Event Center, said Carol Chaplin, President and CEO of Visit Lake Tahoe. “The addition of an ECHL team will greatly complement our year-round venue programming, not to mention delighting both visitors and residents alike for years to come.”
Tim Tebow is the former Florida Gator standout where he won two BCS national championships, Heisman Trophy and multiple other awards and NFL player. He has become best known around the world for his work with the Tim Tebow Foundation whose mission is to bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The Foundation fights for people who can’t fight for themselves in over 80 countries and counting.
He is an entrepreneur, five-time New York Times best-selling author, sports broadcaster and investor, including minority partner in the ECHL’s Jacksonville Icemen and Savannah Ghost Pirates as well as helping bring professional soccer to Northeast Florida.
“I love that sports can bring people together from all over to enjoy camaraderie, competition, and community impact. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be part of a group bringing hockey to the Tahoe area for fans and families to create memories for years to come,” Tebow said.
David Hodges is Chairman and CEO of Hodges Management Group LLC, which owns three auto dealerships and real estate investment firms, and founder/owner of 925 Partners, a values driven agency offering trucking, auto, home, life, health and commercial insurance.
“It is an honor and a privilege to steward this new franchise for the community,” said Hodges. “Tim and I are excited to be able to share this new team with the community. We look forward to engaging the fans as we name the team, design the logos and eventually drop the puck in October of 2024. We believe in the power of sports to bring communities together and there’s no better place than the South Lake Tahoe region. With this new ECHL team, we’re committed to delivering unforgettable games, making lasting memories and impacting this community positively.”
The team is currently accepting season ticket deposits to be placed on a priority list. Seating priority is based on when a deposit is placed. Visit LakeTahoeProHockey.com for more information.
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