Bloomington Bison Hockey Team Kicks Off Inaugural ECHL Season at Grossinger Motors Arena

The Bloomington Bison are set to hit the ice for their first-ever regular season game on October 19 at Grossinger Motors Arena as they embark on their debut season in the ECHL. As a minor league affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers, the Bison will be facing off against the Toledo Walleye on both October 19 at 7 p.m. and October 20 at 3 p.m.

Following their opening games, Bloomington will play their first road game against the Iowa Heartlanders on October 25 before returning home to face Iowa again on October 26. The team’s home games, except for Sunday matchups, are scheduled for 7 p.m. with Sunday games starting at 3 p.m. The Bison have a series of home games lined up in November and December, culminating in a showdown against Kalamazoo on December 28-29.

In January, the Bison will have a home stretch of games against Utah on January 17-19, with additional home contests on January 3, 8, 11, and 24. February will see matchups against Toledo on February 15-16 and the Indy Fuel on February 21-22.

March will bring more home games for Bloomington, with games on March 5, 7, 13, 15, 16, 21, and 28. The regular season will wrap up with home games against Toledo on April 4, 5, and 6 before ending the season against Fort Wayne on April 12-13.

The Bloomington Bison, led by head coach and general manager Phillip Barski, will be the second-tier affiliate of the New York Rangers in the ECHL. Barski brings 15 years of coaching experience to the team, which aims to fill its roster with a mix of college players, experienced professionals, and affiliate prospects.

The arrival of the Bison and the ECHL in Bloomington marks a significant investment in the local hockey scene, with Hallet Sports & Entertainment injecting around $4 million into the project. The team’s agreement with the City of Bloomington outlines financial commitments and performance standards that aim to ensure the team’s success both on and off the ice.

As the Bison gear up for their inaugural season, hockey fans in Bloomington and beyond are eagerly anticipating the arrival of top-tier minor league hockey to Grossinger Motors Arena.

Follow Randy Reinhardt on Twitter: @Pg_Reinhardt

Phillip Barski brings 15 years of coaching experience to his role as head coach and general manager of the Bloomington Bison in the ECHL. With a background in coaching across the United States, Canada, and Europe, Barski is tasked with leading the Bison in their debut season and shaping the team’s roster for success in the league. Stay tuned for more updates on Barski’s coaching journey with the Bison.