Southern Professional Hockey League welcomes Peoria, Bloomington teams

By WEEK Producer

Southern Professional Hockey League welcomes Peoria, Bloomington teams

May 15, 2013 Updated May 15, 2013 at 4:26 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. – It is official. Professional hockey will continue in the river city.

The Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL) announced Wednesday that its Board of Governors has unanimously approved the Bloomington Blaze and Peoria Rivermen to join the league for the 2013-2014 season.

Both teams will be owned and operated by Illinois Pro Sports, LLC, whose members include former Rivermen executives Bart Rogers and John Butler and former Rivermen owner Bruce Saurs.

"We are pleased that the SPHL Board of Governors unanimously approved both Peoria and Bloomington markets as new members of the SPHL," said Illinois Pro Sports partner Bruce Saurs. "This is a new era for professional hockey in Central Illinois and we look forward to carrying on the rich tradition fans have come to enjoy over the years."

Both cities are expected to hold official press conferences next Wednesday.

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