New hockey team announced to play at First Arena next season

ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Elmira River Sharks are out after less than a year and a new team in a new league will be the face of the First Arena for the 2024-2025 hockey season, according to the Chemung County Industrial Development Agency.

After the River Sharks season in the Federal Prospects Hockey League ended this past season, it was up for debate who would play there for the 2024-2025 season. The Chemung IDA, which owns the Arena, held a meeting on Wednesday, May 1, at 9 a.m. to announce the new team.

In the meeting, it was announced that the new team would be playing in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), but never announced the name at the conference.

Elmira Elks College Fair set to return

However, a Facebook page posted a new profile picture around midnight on April 30, showing a team named the Elmira Aviators, reading “Official Facebook Page of the NAHL’s Elmira Aviators” in the page’s intro.

According to the IDA, this deal “will cost about 50% less financially for the hockey structure.” A local businessman in the area, Marc Stemerman, is involved in the process of bringing the new team and league, and according to the IDA, “has made a significant investment in the community and in the team.”

The NAHL is a Tier II junior hockey league, and the only Tier II team to be sanctioned by USA Hockey. It will be in its 50th year of operation in the 2024-2025 season. The teams play in a 60-game season, and teams that make playoffs play in the Robertson Cup Championship Tournament.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WETM -