ECHL approves Tim Tebow-owned minor league team in Lake Tahoe

Tim Tebow is bringing professional hockey to Lake Tahoe.

The ECHL board of governors has approved the expansion application for a team in Lake Tahoe beginning in the 2024-25 season. The franchise will be owned by Tebow, the 2007 Heisman Trophy winner with the University of Florida and former NFL quarterback with the Denver Broncos and New York Jets.

He'll own the team with David Hodges, CEO of Hodges Management Group LLC, which owns three auto dealerships and real estate investment firms in Georgia.

"The ECHL proudly welcomes the 29th Member Team to the League in the brand-new Tahoe Blue Event Center, expanding our geography in the western part of the continent, and creating natural rivalries for visiting fans with the Idaho Steelheads, Utah Grizzlies, and the entire Mountain Division," ECHL commissioner Ryan Crelin said Monday in a statement.

Tahoe Blue Event Center, a 4,200-plus seat arena in Stateline, Nevada, is expected to begin operations later this month.

The team will be operated by Zawyer Sports & Entertainment, which has managed the ECHL's Jacksonville Icemen and Savannah Ghost Pirates. Tebow has been a minority partner with both franchises.

"I love that sports can bring people together from all over to enjoy camaraderie, competition, and community impact," Tebow said in a statement. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be part of a group bringing hockey to the Tahoe area for fans and families to create memories for years to come."

The team has yet to decide on a name, colors or logo, and will work with fans in developing them.

The ECHL is a minor league hockey organization that has teams affiliated with NHL franchises. Lake Tahoe's only previous hockey team was the Lake Tahoe Blue, which became the Tahoe Icemen. They played from 2013 to '18 in the now-defunct Western States Hockey League, a junior hockey league.