Coachella Valley Is Getting Its First Professional Sports Team for the ‘22-’23 Season

The American Hockey League (AHL) has awarded its 32nd Franchise to the Coachella Valley, which will take the ice in late 2022 at the Coachella Valley Arena. This new AHL Hockey franchise will be the official affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken

The Kraken’s tentacles run deep with the AHL as nearly all players selected in the NHL Expansion Draft were graduates of the American Hockey League. Even more impressive is that many of the players have AHL championship experience being on Calder Cup championship teams and numerous players have been selected as AHL All-Stars during their time in the AHL.  

While the Coachella Valley Arena is in construction the Kraken will provide players to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers for this current 2021-22 season.

Firebirds Affiliates

NHL: Seattle Kraken

The Coachella Valley team is affiliated with the NHL’s newest franchise, the Seattle Kraken, for the 2021-22 season. The affiliation is expected to last one season while construction is completed on an arena that will host the Kraken’s AHL expansion franchise in Palm Desert, California. In the meantime, the Checkers will receive the Kraken’s first group of AHL-eligible prospects under a joint affiliation with the Panthers.

AHL: Charlotte Checkers

Earlier this year the Kraken and Florida Panthers announced they entered into a joint agreement to place their prospects in Charlotte for the 2021-22 season. As part of the agreement the Checkers will simultaneously host players from the Kraken and Panthers organizations in addition to having the opportunity to provide an assistant coach. 

The Seattle agreement will last one season while the Teams facilities are being completed in Coachella Valley, CA. 

About Us

The Coachella Valley Firebirds are the 32nd Franchise to enter the American Hockey League (AHL) with a goal of developing players and personnel for the National Hockey League (NHL).  The Firebirds strive to accomplish this by passionately building an organization from the ground up focusing on talent, entertainment,  service and community.


In order to be the best we strive to have the best both on and off the ice.  We are holding our personnel to the highest moral standards focusing on honesty, integrity and teamwork. 


The Firebirds will be the first Professional Sports team in Coachella Valley in its first ever 10,000+ seat facility the region has seen.  This carries the opportunity to expand Oak View Group’s entertainment expertise from around the world into Coachella Valley and bring a level of entertainment not previously experienced for the nine surrounding cities.  With the ultimate goal of bringing an AHL Calder Cup Championship to the region.


Our team will strive to interact with the fans and patrons in a way that upholds the following values:

  • Professional
  • Communication
  • Loyalty


Our team’s commitment both on and off the ice to the community is a founding pillar.  We will be committed to having a positive environmental impact, supporting the underserved areas and growing the exposure of the game of hockey to the community.  The team is committed to supporting existing programs in communities of Coachella Valley and to  expanding the game of hockey to underserved areas in this region.

Hockey Operations

Steve Fraser

Steve Fraser

President Open Full Bio
Troy Bodie

Troy Bodie

Director, Hockey Operations Open Full Bio
Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller

VP of Branding and Community Relations Open Full Bio
Rich Franklin

Rich Franklin

Sr. Director, Corporate Partnerships Open Full Bio

Sales team

Matt Franz
Frank Torres
Samantha Wright
Mason Wilks
Matthew Abrams

Matthew Abrams

Account Executive, Ticket Sales Open Full Bio
Zack Vacca

Zack Vacca

Account Executive, Ticket Sales Open Full Bio