Springfield is the current capital of the state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 116,250. It is the largest city in central Illinois. Just over 208,000 residents live in the Springfield Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Sangamon County and adjacent Menard County. The most famous past resident is Abraham Lincoln, who lived in Springfield from 1837 until 1861, when he went to the White House as President. Major tourist attractions include a multitude of historic sites connected with Lincoln.
Founded by John D. O’ Laughlin and Al Jennings, the franchise joined the North American Hockey League for the 1993-1994 season. The team has made numerous appearances in the NAHL playoffs and were back-to-back Robertson Cup National Championships in 1996 and 1997. The Jr. Blues are the oldest franchise in the North American Hockey League.
Springfield had previously been home to the Springfield Kings of the Continental Hockey League (1976-1985) and the Springfield Capitol (in 1984-85) of the All-American Hockey League.
The Nelson Center is a 2,100-seat multi purpose ice arena and recreational facility. The ice arena has two NHL regulation-sized ice sheets.
It is also the home to the Springfield Jr. Blues of the North American Hockey League as well as Robert Morris University – Springfield Eagles men’s ice hockey team competing at the ACHA Division III level in the College Hockey Mid-America. The Nelson center is also home to several local high school ice hockey teams, and is used by local figure skating clubs, youth, and adult recreational ice hockey leagues, as well as public skating.
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