The Peoria Rivermen Hockey Team is set to remain in the city, but local investors are applying to operate in a different league. The Vancouver Canucks told the Civic Center it won’t run its American Hockey League team in Peoria leaving the city without a team. Now the owners of the Bloomington U-S Cellular Coliseum team are asking the Southern Professional Hockey League for the rights to have another team in Peoria. Bart Rogers is a former Rivermen executive and a manager of the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. He says the move aims to keep Peoria’s hockey tradition alive:
“To hear people say that I don’t know what I’m going to do, I don’t like basketball, I don’t like this, and to hear some people say they’d spent 25 years going to Rivermen hockey games and for that to end, I’m like we can’t let this happen,” Rogers says.
Rogers says a private investment group including himself and former Rivermen owner Bruce Saurs will own both the prospective Bloomington and Peoria teams. The SPHL still needs to approve both franchise requests.