FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2024
KALAMAZOO NAMED HOST CITY FOR 2025 WARRIOR/ECHL HOCKEY HERITAGE WEEKEND
K-Wings bestowed the honor of hosting Warrior/ECHL pinnacle event to honor the club’s 50th Anniversary Season presented by Discover Kalamazoo & FireKeepers.
KALAMAZOO, MI - The Kalamazoo Wings, proud ECHL affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks, and the ECHL announced Friday that the organization has been selected the host of the 2025 Warrior/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week presented by Discover Kalamazoo and FireKeepers. The event is set to take place Jan. 17-18, 2025.
The 2024-25 season will mark the 50th Anniversary Season for the K-Wings, and it marks the 15th season in the ECHL for the fourth-oldest minor league professional hockey franchise.
“Fifty years of professional hockey in a community the size of Kalamazoo is unheard of,” said Toni Will, Kalamazoo Wings general manager and governor. “K-Wings hockey is woven into the fabric of our city. There’s no better way to celebrate our franchise’s 50th Anniversary season than the honor of hosting the Warrior/ECHL Hockey Heritage game.”
The event marks the second time the ECHL has tapped Kalamazoo for the Hockey Heritage game, and the economic impact of the celebrated weekend is estimated to be north of $1.37 million.
“The K-Wings hosted the last ECHL Hockey Heritage Event back in 2016 to celebrate the history of the game of hockey, and thus it is very fitting to bring this event back to Kalamazoo for their 50th Anniversary Season,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “K-Wings hockey has enhanced not just the Kalamazoo region, but rather all levels of hockey, and the Warrior/ECHL Hockey Heritage Event will showcase this rich tradition next Season.”
In the club’s celebrated history, Kalamazoo is responsible for producing 283 NHL players, 24 Stanley Cup Champions and 24 Olympians.
The 2025 Warrior/ECHL Hockey Heritage Week presented by Discover Kalamazoo and FireKeepers will include the induction of the 17th class into the ECHL Hall of Fame on Friday, Jan. 17, and the Hockey Heritage Game at Wings Event Center on Saturday, Jan. 18.
Other featured events during the weekend include the Stanley Cup® and exhibits from the Hockey Hall of Fame on display both days, as well as Fan Fest and a K-Wings 50th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday.
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About the Discover Kalamazoo
Discover Kalamazoo is the convention and visitors bureau, also known as a destination marketing organization, that promotes tourism for all of Kalamazoo County. Their mission is to attract and wow visitors for the economic advancement of the county with the vision of sharing Kalamazoo with everyone. The Discover Kalamazoo team works to market Kalamazoo County as a destination for leisure travelers, meetings, and sports events, connecting planners with local businesses and providing information and resources to both visitors and residents.
About the Kalamazoo Wings
The Kalamazoo Wings are a professional hockey team located in southwest Michigan that has been a staple in the Kalamazoo, MI professional sports landscape since 1974. The K-Wings compete in the ECHL and are the AA affiliate of the National Hockey League’s Vancouver Canucks and the American Hockey League’s Abbotsford Canucks. Kalamazoo plays their 36 regular season home games at Wings Event Center from October through April.
About the ECHL
Formed in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 20 states and two Canadian provinces for its 36th season in 2023-24. There have been 745 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including five who have made their NHL debuts in the 2023-24 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 28 of the 32 NHL teams in 2023-24, marking the 27th consecutive season that the league has affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at ECHL.com.