SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield native who has worked at the American Hockey League’s main office for several years will be in charge of the day-to-day business operations of Springfield’s new hockey team. In a news conference Wednesday morning, Nathan Costa was announced as the new executive vice president of the yet-to-be-named franchise, which will begin play at the MassMutual Center this fall.
As executive vice president, Costa will be in charge of matters including promotions, ticket sales, marketing, and community relations. He has served the last six years as the Vice President of Team Business Services for the AHL. In that job, he has worked closely with all 30 AHL franchises. “My roll has been to grow our revenues after the last six plus years that I’ve been with the league so you know I’m just looking to take a lot of that here,” Costa said.
Costa is a graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield, and Northeastern University in Boston.
The ownership of the franchise, Springfield Hockey LLC, also announced Wednesday that Bruce Landon, the former president of the Springfield Falcons, will serve as a consultant for the new team.
Tuesday, Geordie Kinnear was named the new team’s head coach by the Florida Panthers, the NHL team with which the franchise is affiliated. Kinnear is a former AHL player, who has coached in the league for the past 10 seasons.
The American Hockey League recently approved the sale of the Portland Pirates to Springfield Hockey, LLC. A group of 10 major local investors purchased the Pirates after the Springfield Falcons were sold to their NHL affiliate, the Arizona Coyotes, who intend to move them to Tucson.
The new name for the franchise was not disclosed during Wednesday’s news conference, however two much-suggested names will not be used- the team will not be known as the Springfield Indians (the name of the city’s storied former AHL franchise) or the Springfield Isotopes (a reference to the minor-league baseball team on the Simpsons). The new team’s name will also not be associated in any way with gambling or the MGM casino being built in the city’s South End.
The team will be an affiliate to the NHL Florida Panthers.
The announcement of the new name and logo for Springfield’s AHL team will be made next Wednesday.