Indiana is known for its love of basketball, and in particular, its local star Larry Bird. However, did you know that Indiana doesn’t just have basketball… They have ice hockey too.
In fact, the first professional hockey team in Indiana was formed in 1939!
While several pro teams have come and gone in the Hoosier State, there are still three professional teams you can watch!
In this article, I’ll show you what pro hockey teams are in Wisconsin and what college and junior teams compete in the state (including a D1 hockey team).
Pssssst! Are you curious about hockey teams in other U.S. states? You can learn more by checking out our other posts: What Hockey Team Is in Florida, What Hockey Team Is in North Dakota, and What Hockey Team Is in Pennsylvania.
Let’s dive in.
Here’s What Hockey Teams Are In Indiana:
While Indiana doesn’t have an NHL or AHL team, they do have three professional hockey teams. In the ECHL, they have the Fort Wayne Komets and Indy Fuel. In the SPHL, they have the Evansville Thunderbolts. The top college hockey team is a D1 team: The University of Notre Dame. The top junior hockey team is the Fort Wayne Spacemen (Tier III).
Does Indiana Have a Hockey Team?
Yes, Indiana has several hockey teams (including three pro teams).
The state doesn’t have an NHL or AHL team. However, they have two ECHL teams and one SPHL team. They also have a variety of college hockey and junior teams.
Here are the top hockey teams in Indiana:
- Indy Fuel (Professional – ECHL)
- Fort Wayne Komets (Professional – ECHL)
- Evansville Thunderbolts (Professional – SPHL)
- University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish (D1 USHL)
Does Indianapolis Have a Hockey Team?
Yes, Indianapolis has a few hockey teams.
While they don’t have an NHL team, they do have another professional hockey team.
The Indy Fuel is the top hockey team in Indianapolis. It’s a mid-level professional hockey team that competes in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). Their home games are played at Indiana Farmers Coliseum located at 1202 E 38th St, Indianapolis.
There’s one other hockey team that plays in Indianapolis: Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) competes within the ACHA as a Division 3 men’s college hockey team.
Does Indiana Have an NHL Team?
So, will you find an NHL hockey team in Indiana?
No, unfortunately, Indiana doesn’t have an NHL team. You won’t find the NHL in Indianapolis.
However, Indiana does have three other professional teams. In the ECHL, you’ll find the Indy Fuel and the Fort Wayne Komets. Within the SPHL, you’ll find the Evansville Thunderbolts.
Does Indiana University Have a Hockey Team?
Yes, Indiana University has a hockey team: The Indiana University Hoosiers. They’re a D2 hockey team that competes within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA).
Does Indiana Have a D1 Hockey Team?
Yes, Indiana has one D1 college hockey team: The University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They compete within the top NCAA college hockey league: the United States Hockey League (USHL).
What NHL Team Does Indiana Root For?
While Indiana doesn’t have an NHL team, the sport is still quite popular in the state!
So, what NHL team is popular in Indiana?
If you currently don’t have an NHL team to cheer for in Indiana, you’ve essentially got 3 main options:
- Chicago Blackhawks
- Detroit Red Wings
- Columbus Blue Jackets
So, why are these the 3 most popular teams?
The main reason is that three out of four of Indiana’s neighboring states have NHL teams. Depending on where you go in Indiana, you’ll find different factions and hotspots of NHL team fans. For instance, if you head far enough northwest, you’ll enter Blackhawk territory. If you head far enough east, you’ll start to get into Blue Jacket country.
Besides those two teams, there is a solid base of Detroit Red Wings fans in the northeast and scattered throughout Indiana.
What Hockey Teams Are in Indiana?
So, what hockey teams are in Indiana? The Hoosier State has three professional hockey teams and several junior and college teams as listed below:
Unfortunately, Indiana doesn’t have an NHL team. NHL fans in Indiana typically cheer for a team based on geographical regions. For instance, hockey fans in northern Indiana typically cheer for the Chicago Blackhawks. Hockey fans in central Indiana usually cheer for the Detroit Red Wings, while others in eastern Indiana sometimes cheer for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Indiana doesn’t have an American Hockey League (AHL) team. However, it once had one, over 70 years ago. The Indianapolis Capitals played in the AHL between 1939 and 1952 before folding.
Below the AHL is the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL). This is a mid-level professional hockey league with 28 teams across the United States and Canada. Indiana has two teams that compete within the ECHL. They’re Indiana’s top professional hockey teams.
The Fort Wayne Komets play at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum located 4000 Parnell Ave, Fort Wayne. The Indy Fuel plays their home games at Indiana Farmers Coliseum located at 1202 E 38th St, Indianapolis.
Right below the ECHL is the Southern Professional Hockey League (SPHL). This is a lower-level professional hockey league with teams primarily in the southern United States.
Indiana’s SPHL team is the Evansville Thunderbolts. They play their home games at the Ford Center located at 1 SE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in downtown Evansville.
D1, D2, D3 College Hockey
Indiana has a variety of college hockey teams. The state has teams within D1, D2, and D3 levels that compete within the NCAA and ACHA:
- University of Notre Dame (NCAA Men’s D1)
- Indiana University (ACHA Men’s D2)
- Trine University – Madison (NCAA Men’s D3)
- Indiana Tech (NCAA Men’s D3)
- Ball State University (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Butler University (ACHA Men’s D3)
- Indiana University Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) (ACHA Men’s D3)
There’s only one junior hockey team in Indiana: The Fort Wayne Spacemen. The Spacemen are a Tier III junior hockey team that competes within the United States Premier Hockey League (USPHL).
Where Is the Indy Fuel Stadium?
The Indy Fuel of the ECHL play at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum located about 15 minutes outside downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The address is 1202 E 38th St, Indianapolis, IN 46205.
Is There High School Hockey in Indiana?
Yes, Indiana’s primary high school hockey system is the Indiana State High School Hockey Association (ISHSHA).
Nine different leagues compete within the ISHSHA across the state.
Is Hockey Popular in Indiana?
Curious whether or not Indiana is a big hockey state?
To find out, let’s look at some data to find out!
In 2022, WalletHub crunched the numbers to determine which hockey cities were best for fans of the sport. In the study, WalletHub ranked the top 72 cities in the U.S. They worked with 21 key indicators of what made a city a “good” hockey city. Different indicators included stadium capacity, ticket prices, and the performance of major teams, among many others.
Indiana had just one city that ranked in the top 72. South Bend, Indiana came in at number 57.
Are you curious to know more about hockey in other states across the U.S.? Don’t forget to check out our other full guide: Hockey Teams in Every U.S. State: Complete NHL & College List (2023).