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It’s official: Worcester in ECHL for 2017-2018 season

ECHLTotally expected: the ECHL has awarded a 2017 expansion team to a Worcester group led by Cliff Rucker, with the team playing out of DCU Center, a 12,239-seat building located in downtown Worcester.

North Shore businessman Rucker and arena-management firm SMG signed a lease for DCU Center in December 2015, paving the away for the expansion franchise.

“We are pleased to welcome Worcester, Massachusetts to the ECHL,” ECHL Commissioner Brian McKenna said. “Cliff Rucker made a very impressive presentation to our Board of Governors. He laid out a strong business plan, that has broad-based community support and is prepared to take the proper lead time to execute a successful introduction.”

“I am honored to be representing the city of Worcester and Central Massachusetts as the 29th Member of the ECHL and look forward to working with our staff to put together a winning team, that serves as a great ambassador of our region throughout the United States and Canada,” Rucker said.

“The Manchester Monarchs are very pleased to welcome Worcester to the ECHL,” said Matt Welch, president of the Monarchs. “Like our fans in Manchester, former Worcester AHL fans will be very impressed with the quality of play in the ECHL. We look forward to the start of a great rivalry.”

Toby O’Brien is the team’s president and general manager.

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