Des Moines, IA – The Des Moines Buccaneers announced today they will open the 2020-2021 season calling Wells Fargo Arena home due to the damage Buccaneer Arena sustained August 10 during the Derecho storm. The USHL Des Moines Bucs have played at Buccaneer Arena each season since their inception in 1980 but knew in order to commit to the 2020-2021 season they would need to find a temporary home while repairs were done to their facility.
“2020 has been an unprecedented year with the COVID-19 pandemic and the damage sustained to our home ice at Buccaneer Arena due to the storm in August,” said Des Moines Buccaneers President Nate Teut. “We are grateful to Wells Fargo Arena, the Iowa Wild, and the greater hockey community for coming together to help make this upcoming Buccaneer season possible.”
Season tickets are on sale now by visiting bucshockey.com or by calling the Buccaneer Box Office at 515- 278-2827. Single game tickets will be available soon as the Bucs and Spectra work together to finalize pod seating configurations at Wells Fargo Arena.
Spectra staff, who manage the facility on behalf of Polk County, have already begun prep work on the ice installation. In addition, Spectra has developed a comprehensive plan to safely welcome hockey fans to Wells Fargo Arena utilizing pod seating, increased cleaning and sanitation schedules, and all attendees are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Full details of the fan safety protocols are available at iowaeventscenter.com.
“We are excited to work with Nate and the Des Moines Buccaneers organization to assist them while they continue repairs due to the Derecho and add another sheet of ice for the community to utilize,” said Spectra’s Chris Connolly, General Manager of Wells Fargo Arena. “The safety of our staff, athletes, team personnel and fans is our top priority and we have developed policies that align with the CDC and local health officials.”
Wells Fargo Arena is the current home of the Iowa Wild, the AHL affiliate of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild. The Wild have played home games in the arena since 2013. Iowa Wild is working alongside the American Hockey League on the AHL return to play plan right now and will communicate updates and information as it comes available.
"We are proud to welcome the Buccaneers, one of the USHL's most storied franchises, to our home in Wells Fargo Arena while their building is repaired from the damage caused by the Derecho in August," Iowa Wild President, Todd Frederickson said. "Both of our organizations are committed to the growth of hockey in Central Iowa and opening our doors to them will ensure we don’t lose any momentum. In addition, we're excited for the potential opportunity to use Wells Fargo Arena ice for the Des Moines Youth Hockey League, adult hockey and figure skating communities."
Polk County Board of Supervisors Chair Matt McCoy said “Our community has had to rally around a lot of tough issues this year and this partnership is just another example of collaboration that will help our entire community. In light of the storm damage that was caused to Bucs Arena we are happy to be able to offer the ice at Wells Fargo Arena for rentals to our local partners and fill that gap until the Bucs are able to recover.”
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the 2020-21 season will be the USHL's 19th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league. The USHL had 51 players selected at the 2020 NHL Draft, marking the third-straight season with 50-or-more USHL players selected in the Draft. More than 800 league alumni are currently on NCAA Division I rosters, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.