Pending league approval, NAHL finds a new home in Watertown  (Audio)

February 20, 2024
Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–The Watertown City Council approved a lease agreement for a junior hockey team from the North American Hockey League (NAHL) to play its home games in the Prairie Lakes Ice Arena.

The vote did create some discomfort however.

The terms of the lease agreement at the time of the vote were not public knowledge, aside from City Attorney Lisa Carrico referencing the fact it’s a five year agreement.

The North American Hockey League still has to approve the ownership group of Watertown’s junior team, so the specific details of the lease were kept private, such as the names of the team owners, and the dollar value they’ll be charged to play in the new arena.

That didn’t sit well with Councilman Mike Danforth….

Mayor Ried Holien was also troubled by the lack of transparency with this deal….

Councilman Bruce Buhler wasn’t concerned about the taxpaying public being left in the dark….

The NAHL provides an opportunity for players in their late teens and early 20’s who no longer play high school hockey to continue pursuing the sport in an attempt to land a college hockey scholarship.