Iowa Demon Hawks heading home, will play at Buccaneer Arena in Des Moines
Major Arena Soccer League 2 Iowa Demon Hawks are coming home.
League officials and team owner Darwin Salas recently spent a full day at Buccaneer Arena in Des Moines making sure the turf, glass and boards would be all set for the team’s home opener Dec. 8 against rival Iowa Raptors.
The two teams shared the Alliant Energy Powerhouse in Cedar Rapids last year, with the Demon Hawks planning to move back to Des Moines, their home base of operations, for the 2023-24 season. The two Iowa cities are about 120 miles apart. Both will be starting their second seasons in M2 this fall. The teams played four times last year, splitting those games, with a total scoring differential in the four contests of just one goal.
Season tickets for the seven-game home schedule will be available soon. Information on that and everything team related can be found at www.iowdemonhawks.com.
The 3,450 seat arena is also home to the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey league, the top junior level hockey league in the U.S. for players ages 16-21.
In addition to Salas and the arena work crew, M2 Commissioner Chris Economides and Major Arena Soccer League’s Tommy Tanner, general manager of Utica City FC, were also on hand. Like Utica’s Adirondack Bank Center, Buccaneer Arena will lay the soccer field over ice, making Tanner’s input especially invaluable.
“It was so great to finally be home,” said Salas, a Des Moines area resident. “It’s been a lot of work but our fans can’t wait to come out to support the hometown team, which is now truly hometown.”
Salas said the recent “dry run” of setting up the soccer field would insure that everything was first-class and ready to go for the home opener.
“I can’t thank the staff at the arena enough, along with Chris and Tommy. Their input on everything -- calling on their decades of experience in the sport and working with so many different venues and their individual challenges – was incredibly appreciated,” Salas added. “Home sweet home takes on a whole new meaning this year for the Demon Hawks.”
Each team in M2’s North Division will play seven home games as part of a 12-game regular season. By mutual agreement of all four teams in the division, which includes the Muskegon Risers and St. Louis Ambush 2, the Ambush will only play three home games in 2023-24, meaning each of the remaining three teams in the division will be at home seven times during the season.
MASL 2 will field a record 19 teams this year; with 13 teams from the 2022-23 season returning, and new teams including the Baltimore Arsenal, Ambush 2, Atletico Orlando and Utica’s United Elite FC. The Arsenal will serve as the official affiliate of the MASL Baltimore Blast and United Elite will serve as the affiliate for Utica City FC. Both are expected to play at least some doubleheaders at the SECU Arena and Adirondack Bank Center respectively in conjunction with MASL home games scheduled for the Blast and Utica City.
The top two teams in the North Division will advance to the M2 Championship Weekend set April 4-7 which will be hosted by the Wichita Wings at Hartman Arena in Park City, Kansas. A total of eight teams from four divisions will advance to the postseason, where 10 games will be played over the four days to determine a champion. The Chihuahua Savage II are the defending champions.