Inaugural season officially begins January 1 in Toronto
TORONTO, ON (November 28, 2023) – The Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) will ring in the New Year with the first game in league history to be played on Monday, January 1, 2024. The puck officially drops on the inaugural PWHL regular season with a holiday matinee at 12:30 p.m. ET at Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto, with a tilt between Toronto and visiting New York, headlining a stretch of five home openers scheduled over the first six days of the 2024 calendar.
“Giving our athletes the opportunity to step onto the ice to compete in front of our passionate fans has been the driving force of our efforts, and it’s going to be an exciting reality on New Year’s Day,” said Stan Kasten, PWHL Advisory Board member. “It’s time for the best women’s hockey players in the world to lift our game to greater heights.”
One day after the historic season opener in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal make their debuts on Tuesday, Jan. 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET at The Arena at TD Place for a clash of Canadian counterparts in the nation’s capital. Then, on Wednesday, Jan. 3, fans will get their first look at Boston and visiting Minnesota when the clubs do battle at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell at 7:00 p.m. ET. New York then welcomes Toronto to the tri-state area on Friday, Jan. 5 for a 7:00 p.m. ET opening-day rematch at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Minnesota fans will be introduced to their first taste of PWHL action on Saturday, Jan. 6 when Minnesota hosts Montreal at 3:30 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center. Montreal will play its highly anticipated home opener one week later, on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET, when Boston pays a visit to the Verdun Auditorium.
Fans who placed ticket deposits will receive a link for priority access to purchase PWHL season ticket plans. Early access to ticket information will also be sent directly to PWHL e-newsletter subscribers who are registered for updates this link.
2024 PWHL HOME OPENERS:
TORONTO (vs. New York): Monday January 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET at Mattamy Athletic Centre
OTTAWA (vs. Montreal): Tuesday January 2 at 7:00 p.m. ET at The Arena at TD Place
BOSTON (vs. Minnesota): Wednesday January 3 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell
NEW YORK (vs. Toronto): Friday January 5 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Total Mortgage Arena
MINNESOTA (vs. Montreal): Saturday January 6 at 3:30 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center
MONTREAL (vs. Boston): Saturday January 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET at Verdun Auditorium
Facilities hosting openers are among the primary venues for PWHL games throughout the regular season.
The Mattamy Athletic Centre is located in the upper level of the transformed Maple Leaf Gardens and has served as Toronto Metropolitan University’s athletic facility since 2012 with a capacity of 2,600 for hockey. The building is where the Toronto Maple Leafs won their 11 Stanley Cups and still features the exterior walls, original roof, and rafters of the historic monument.
Both The Arena and The Stadium at TD Place in Lansdowne are a centerpiece of Ottawa. It is the proud host of the CFL’s Ottawa REDBLACKS, the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s, the CEBL’s Ottawa BlackJacks, CPL’s Atlético Ottawa, and a myriad of live events, concerts, festivals, and a year-round tapestry of community activities.
The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell is a multi-purpose facility owned by the University of Massachusetts Lowell and located in Lowell, Massachusetts. With a capacity of 6,500, it is home to UMass Lowell Athletics River Hawks Hockey and Basketball teams. Since opening in 1998, it has served the Greater Merrimack Valley hosting concerts, family shows, sporting events, tradeshows and conferences.
Total Mortgage Arena, located in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut, is a 10,000-seat sports and entertainment arena that hosts over 130 live events every year including family shows, sporting events, and concerts. It is home to the Bridgeport Islanders, the AHL affiliate of the New York Islanders.
Regarded as one of the finest arenas in the world, Xcel Energy Center is a one-of-a-kind, multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility located in downtown Saint Paul. It is home to the Minnesota Wild, with a capacity of over 18,000, and hosts more than 150 sporting and entertainment events per year, attracting roughly 1.7 million visitors annually.
The Verdun Auditorium is a newly renovated two-pad sports complex with a capacity of 4,114 seats. It houses Centre 21.02, the team’s official training facility, which is the first and only recognized High Performance Hockey Centre for women athletes in Canada.
Team GM and Vanue Representative Quotes
“We’re thrilled to have the Tsongas Center as our home arena – a great facility with an ideal seating capacity of 6,500,” said Danielle Marmer, PWHL Boston General Manager. “Located in Lowell, MA, it’s a hub that’ll draw fans from the Merrimack Valley, North Shore, Southern New Hampshire, and the Greater Boston Area. Our anticipation for the January 3rd home opener against PWHL Minnesota, featuring first overall draft pick Taylor Heise, is immense. That moment is the result of the league, staff, and players’ hard work to pioneer this first-of-its-kind league and showcase our talented players. I can’t wait to see you there!”
“The Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell has hosted many talented players over the past 25 years and the opportunity to add the best women’s hockey players in the world to that list is an honor,” said Keith Vaske, Tsongas Center General Manager. “The University of Massachusetts Lowell and OVG360 take great pride in creating a great environment for the hockey fans in the city of Lowell, the UMass Lowell community, and the Greater Merrimack Valley Region and now, we are excited to welcome the PWHL and its players to be a part of that experience.”
“We are thrilled to call Xcel Energy Center our home for our inaugural season,” said Natalie Darwitz, PWHL Minnesota General Manager. “The Xcel Energy Center is a premier venue which has the amenities to provide our players and our fans with a first-rate game experience. The enthusiasm and excitement our players and fans will bring to Xcel Energy Center will guarantee our team having a home ice advantage! We are looking forward with great anticipation to our first home game. We can’t wait to welcome the best fans in the nation to our home as we begin our journey to bring a championship to the state of Minnesota!”
“Hosting PWHL Minnesota for its inaugural season at Xcel Energy Center marks an exciting chapter in our hockey history,” said Kelly McGrath, Xcel Energy Center General Manager and Executive Director. “We look forward to welcoming PWHL fans to the arena to see the best professional women’s hockey players in the world play on our ice.”
“Hockey fans in Greater Montreal and across the province of Quebec are excited to have a professional women’s hockey team established here,” said Danièle Sauvageau, PWHL Montréal General Manager. “Centre 21.02 was created to be the home of women’s hockey. January 13 is a moment we have been waiting a long time for, and a moment to remember as our team will play its inaugural home game, the first in its history.”
“It is with immense pride and a great feeling of accomplishment that the Center 21.02 will host PWHL hockey games,” said Stéphanie Poirier, Centre 21.02 Director. “Having the best female hockey players in the world, who will come battle it out and showcase their tremendous talent for the fans, will be an experience we are so eager to be a part of. It is truly a dream come true for us.”
“Having the privilege to showcase our skills in front of our dedicated fans, in a top-tier arena, represents an opportunity that impeccably aligns with the professional standards upheld by the PWHL,” said Pascal Daoust, PWHL New York General Manager. “It promises to be a premier sports experience not only for our athletes but also our fans, allowing them to gather in greater numbers and take immense pride in standing united behind our team!”
“We are extremely excited to welcome PWHL New York to Total Mortgage Arena for what we know is going to be an exciting season,” said OVG360’s Joe Dolan, General Manager of Total Mortgage Arena. “It is a great opportunity to be a part of the inaugural season and look forward to welcoming some the world’s top players to Bridgeport.”
“We are thrilled to call The Arena at TD Place our home,” said Mike Hirshfeld, PWHL Ottawa General Manager. “The history of the arena, including hosting the first ever women’s world ice hockey championship in 1990, is something we are eager to be a part of. The city of Ottawa has been incredibly welcoming to our team and our players, and we are counting down with anticipation to our first home game on January 2nd. We know that we have the best fan base in the PWHL and are excited to have a rocking, sold out arena full of our passionate fans that will intimidate our opponents and be the envy of the entire league. It will be a memorable and historic night as we officially launch our franchise.”
“TD Place is the go-to place for sports and entertainment in our city and we are honoured to be one of only six North American sites for the launch of the PWHL,” said OSEG CEO Mark Goudie. “Ottawa, and Lansdowne, have seen more than their share of historic hockey games over the last century and we are proud to play a small role in the latest of those with Ottawa’s first modern day professional women’s hockey team.”
“It is almost poetic that we are set to write the first chapter of our franchise’s history in one of the most historic buildings in Toronto,” said Gina Kingsbury, PWHL Toronto General Manager. “It is an honour that we will call Mattamy Athletic Centre home and be under the same roof that housed the legendary Maple Leafs organization for so many years. We can’t wait to write our story and represent this world class city with great pride.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming the Toronto Professional Women’s Hockey League franchise to the TMU campus as they make the Mattamy Athletic Centre their home ice for the inaugural season of this highly anticipated league,” said Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor, Toronto Metropolitan University. “This partnership is important to the university and aligns well with our commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive campus culture for all. It is essential that we show our continued support for the amplification of women’s sports, and we hope that this wonderful community partnership will inspire others to join in, participate and cheer on not just the Toronto PWHL team, but our TMU Bold teams as well.”
Fans can stay connected to the PWHL, register for email updates, and secure their spot in line for buying tickets by placing a deposit at thepwhl.com.