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It's official: Wild open Iowa branch

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The Wild made it official today: Their American Hockey League affiliation will switch from Houston to Des Moines, Iowa for the 2013-14 season and beyond.

“Des Moines is an excellent sports market," Wild owner Craig Leopold said. "Wild fan support is excellent not just in the State of Hockey but throughout the Upper Midwest, including Iowa."

Leopold, at a news conference in Des Moines, also said the team will be entrenched in the community, "particularly in youth hockey.”

The team will be known as the Iowa Wild, and already has a web site online at

Home games will be played at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.

From downtown St. Paul, it's about a four-hour drive (245 miles), via Interstate 35.

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