ST. CLOUD, Minn. — The Brookings Blizzard of the North American Hockey League are considering a move from South Dakota to St. Cloud.
Chris Canavati, the owner of the Tier II junior team, said in an email that the team made a formal request on May 1 to the NAHL for team relocation.
On Friday, May 17, Canavati said in the email that the NAHL Board of Governors gave conditional approval for the request. Canavati also said that he expects a formal announcement on the decision about the move next week.
Before moving to Brookings, the Blizzard played home games for eight seasons in Alexandria, Minn., the first two as the Minnesota Blizzard and the last six as the Alexandria Blizzard.
After the NAHL team moved to Brookings, Canavati founded the Tier III Alexandria Blizzard team that has played in the NA3HL since 2012.
The St. Cloud area has had a Tier III franchise since 2007 when the Granite City Lumberjacks were founded. The Lumberjacks played home games at the Municipal Athletic Complex in St. Cloud before moving to Sports Arena East in Sauk Rapids.
The Brookings Blizzard averaged 464 fans per game in 2018-19, which was 20th out of 24 teams in the NAHL. Shreveport led the league in regular season attendance, averaging 2,830 fans. In the Central Division, Aberdeen averaged 1,505 followed by Minot (1,416), Bismarck (1,207), the Minnesota Wilderness in Cloquet (1,145) and Austin (920).
The Lumberjacks averaged 829 fans in 2018-19, which was the fourth-best mark in the NA3HL.