The Coachella Valley Firebirds have their home opener for the upcoming inaugural season.
The Firebirds will drop the puck in the desert for the first time on Sunday, Dec. 18th at Acrisure Arena as they welcome the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes affiliate) at 6:00 p.m.
Click HERE for the complete 2022-2023 AHL home opener schedule.
The Firebirds' Twitter account teased that more announcements will be coming this week.
Home Opener secured 😎 Get ready to #GetFiredUp Coachella Valley!— Coachella Valley Firebirds (@Firebirds) July 20, 2022
More coming tomorrow....🔥 https://t.co/QlLvwNDQv6#HomeOpener #AHL #CoachellaValley #Firebirds #IgniteTheSeason #AHLSchedule #Hockey #BuildingAnOasis pic.twitter.com/Y6hYyGAa6Y
Prior to playing in the valley, the Firebirds will play four games in October in Seattle, using the Kraken's facilities as their temporary home while Acrisure Arena completes construction. In fact, the Firebirds will already have played 21 games by the time of the home opener.
The $300 million, 11,000+ seat Acrisure Arena continues to be built in Thousand Palms next to the Classic Club Golf Course just north of the Cook St. Interstate 10 exit.
Officials with Oak View Group, the arena's developer, have previously said the arena will host AHL hockey games, concerts, conventions, UFC, boxing, and WWE events. The arena is expected to host 150 entertainment events a year.
Officials broke ground on the arena in June 2021. Construction is expected to be complete in late 2022.
You can check out a live camera of construction progress at: https://coachellavalleyarena.com/
COACHELLA VALLEY FIREBIRDS
As for the Firebirds, things are starting to shape up for the AHL's newest franchise.
A little over a week ago, the team signed its first two players, Samuel Buček and Ian McKinnon.
Last month, Dan Bylsma was named the head coach. Bylsma is a former Stanley Cup champion and the winningest coach in Pittsburgh Penguins history. Before getting into coaching, Byslma played on the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Joining him as his assistant coach is Jessica Campbell. She is the first female in this role in the American Hockey League. Before joining the Firebirds, Campbell played hockey on the national Canadian team. She went on to be an assistant coach for Germany at the 2022 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
ICYMI, the Firebirds unveiled their jerseys earlier this year. The jersey prominently features the Firebirds' red, orange and deep navy logo with a fierce-looking bird breathing fire. The secondary logo on the jersey is a palm tree against a field of mountains. The palm tree has nine fronds, one for each Coachella Valley city. The jerseys come in deep navy and white.
Visit www.CVfirebirds.com for the latest news and information.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates.