Springfield Thunderbirds to play as Ice-O-Topes

There are 33 towns or cities called Springfield in the United States. One of those, Springfield, Massachusetts, is home to the AHL’s Thunderbirds. Another, Springfield, Oregon, more than 3,000 miles away, is the inspiration for the hometown featured in the TV show The Simpsons.

That distance and the 31 Springfields in between Massachusetts and Oregon won’t stop the Thunderbirds from adopting a Simpsons-themed brand later this season. The team will wonder “What if?” playing for a week as the Ice-O-Topes, a name that was one of the runners-up in the franchise’s 2016 name-the-team contest.

The TV show The Simpsons, celebrating its 30th season this year, frequently features the town’s local baseball team, the Springfield Isotopes, including one episode that became the inspiration for the actual, permanent name of baseball’s Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.

The Thunderbirds will adopt Simpsons-themed branding for the week of January 27, 2020, including the primary colors commonly associated with the show, as well as a Simpson-ized version of their actual logo.

Jerseys will be available for auction after the team’s February 1 game against the Hartford Wolf Pack.