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IHL STRETCHES FROM PEORIA TO THE "HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH"
Published December 14, 1994
The IHL awarded its 19th expansion franchise to the Richard DeVos family and Orlando. The team will play in the Orlando Arena, home of DeVos' NBA Magic. The Orlando franchise paid $6M to join the league and plans to spend around $1.2M to upgrade the arena for hockey. Orlando Magic GM Pat Williams, who admitted that the new owners "do not know much about hockey": "The whole thing happened in not much more than six weeks. ... They really came to us." Williams said there was a possibility that the team will affiliate with the neighboring Tampa Bay Lightning, who played 5 regular season games in Orlando last year. The IHL is expected to announce another expansion franchise in San Francisco today (Cammy Clark, ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 12/14).