PWHL announces host venues for inaugural season

Featured image credit: Ltp1220/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED/Edited for size

Featured image credit: Ltp1220/CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED/Edited for size

The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), a new ice hockey competition for North America, has confirmed the host venues for its inaugural season, which will begin in January.

In August, the PWHL confirmed the six markets in Canada and the US that would house franchises in the new competition.

The teams’ host venues have now been announced, with Toronto to play at Mattamy Athletic Centre, Ottawa to play at The Arena at TD Place, and Montreal to play at Verdun Auditorium. The league’s three US teams are based in Boston, New York and Minnesota and will play at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell, Total Mortgage Arena, and Xcel Energy Center, respectively.

The first match of the season will see Toronto host New York on January 1, with each team in the league scheduled to play at home by January 13.

Toronto’s Mattamy Athletic Centre has served as Toronto Metropolitan University’s athletic facility since 2012 and has a capacity of 2,600 for ice hockey. The Arena at TD Place is used to host basketball and junior ice hockey.

The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell is a multi-purpose facility owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and has a capacity of 6,500. Total Mortgage Arena is located in downtown Bridgeport in Connecticut and has a capacity of 10,000.

The Verdun Auditorium is newly renovated and has a capacity of 4,114. Xcel Energy Center (pictured) is home to the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and has a capacity of over 18,000. It is the only NHL arena on the host venue list for the PWHL.

The PWHL is supported financially by business and philanthropic leaders Mark and Kimbra Walter and is led by a board of directors that includes sports icon Billie Jean King, sports executive Ilana Kloss, Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten, and Dodgers senior vice-president of business strategy, Royce Cohen.

The 2023-24 PWHL schedule will feature 24 regular-season games per team. The league is said to be in talks to take part in major NHL events such as the Winter Classic and other outdoor games, along with its All-Star Weekend.