ECHL approves Chiefs’ move to Greenville

Team will play under a five-year deal

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The ECHL’s board of governors has approved the move of the Johnstown Chiefs to Greenville for the 2010-11 season.

This was the final hurdle needed in moving the famed franchise to the Upstate where it will play in the Bi-Lo Center, which was the home of the Greenville Grrrowl between 1998 and 2006.

Calls to Chief’s owner Neil Smith were not returned this morning.

The team has signed a five-year deal to play at the 16,000-seat Bi-Lo Center. The exact terms of the deal have yet to be released, but the team will play a 36-game schedule with some flexibility in case the Bi-Lo Center wants to move a game if it has the potential for a higher-paying contract.

That is a difference from when the Grrrowl were the building’s main tenant.

The Chiefs are named for the fictional Charlestown Chiefs from the movie “Slap Shot,” which was filmed in Johnstown and based on the local franchise, the Jets. The movie is often deemed one of the best sports movies of all time.

There is no word yet if the Greenville team will keep that name.

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