After moving from Houston Texas, the Iowa Wild settled in Des Moines for the 2013-2014 season. Playing at the Wells Fargo Arena, the team is an AHL affiliate to the NHL team, the Minnesota Wild. During their first season game against the Oklahoma City Barons, the Iowa Wild won 1-0, with an approximate attendance of 10,200 fans.
Since their debut with the AHL, they have continued to beat various team records, with 32 players being called up to the NHL within the first three years. With an average of 5,846 fans per home game, the Iowa Wild ranked 15th in the AHL for overall attendance during the 2016-2017 season.
Iowa Wild's history
Before this AHL team became the Iowa Wild, they played as the Houston Aeros. Paying homage to the team of the same name, which was part of the World Hockey Association in the 1970s, the Aeros were the second IHL team to be named after a WHA team who had previously played in the league.
Following a solid 54-win season, the Aeros won the Turner Cup in 1999. Once the IHL folded, the Aeros were one of the six teams that joined the American Hockey League. After this transition, they went on to win the 2003 Calder Cup, playing their home games within the Toyota Center.
After a disagreement with the lease, this is when the Aeros moved to Iowa. By the 2016-2017 season, the Iowa Wild were in their fourth year as an AHL affiliate. Within this season, they played 13 of their first 16 games at home. They also closed the season hosting eight of the final ten regular season games.
While enthusiastic fans supported the team, the Iowa Wild also supported the public, offering various education programs. Hosting the Wild About Education Day, as well as the Wild About Reading Program, in conjunction with the Minnesota Wild, the team encourages student literacy. They also started the Healthy Living Floor Hockey Program, which included 100 schools and 44,000 students throughout Central Iowa.
Iowa Wild's accomplishments
Although they did not make the playoffs, within the 2016-2017 season, there was certainly a silver lining. The team accomplished a number of records, including the winning record in the club's history, showing significant improvements over their previous three seasons. With a total of 36 wins, they won 12 more games than the season prior.
Also breaking their attendance record, within their fourth season, 228,727 fans came out to support their efforts, up from 223,559 in their first year. They also achieve a club record with their nine-game winning streak while on the road, in addition to their 11-game streak in which they scored at least one point.