SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Thunderbirds will continue to make the MassMutual Center their home ice after signing a new lease agreement.

The Springfield Thunderbirds and the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority announced the agreement on Thursday. The team signed on for the next four years with the option of a one-year extension.

“We are proud and excited to keep the MassMutual Center, AKA “the Thunderdome,” as our home for the foreseeable future,” said Thunderbirds Managing Partner Paul Picknelly. “The past four seasons have seen the building host some of the greatest nights in Springfield hockey history, and we could not be more excited to create even more memories for our community in the years to come.”

“We’re here for the long haul, it’s not just going to be five years as you said. I hope we’ll be here forever. The relationship has been awesome,” said Nathan Costa, President of the Thunderbirds.

“We are proud and excited to continue our partnership with the Springfield Thunderbirds in the years ahead,” said David Gibbons, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority. “For decades, the MassMutual Center has been hockey’s home in Springfield and our partnership with the Thunderbirds continues a tradition of winning on the ice and in the community.”

The 2021-22 season home opener is scheduled for Saturday, October 16 against the Hartford Wolf Pack.  A Pregame Block Party on Court Square is planned from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. 

This is the Thunderbirds 5th season and their first with a new long-term NHL affiliation agreement with the St. Louis Blues. For more information on the Thunderbirds schedule and to purchase tickets go to the Thunderbirds web site.