Portland Pirates sold, will move to Springfield, Mass.

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PORTLAND — Mayor Ethan Strimling confirmed Wednesday the Portland Pirates hockey team has been sold and is moving to Springfield, Massachusetts.

Strimling said he was still waiting for more details about the sale and move of the American Hockey League team, which has played in Portland since the 1993-94 season.

He said he learned of the move about an hour before he spoke to reporters at the Cross Insurance Arena late Wednesday afternoon.

While unsure what city officials could have done to keep the team, Strimling said he regretted hearing about the move on such short notice and is concerned about the economic effects of losing the team.

In a statement released later Wednesday, the Pirates said a letter of intent has been signed with “an outside buyer” to purchase and move the franchise to a new city. Details of the agreement, which must be approved by the AHL and the Florida Panthers, the Pirate’s National Hockey League affiliate, were not disclosed.

The statement said previously purchased season tickets for the 2016-2017 season will be refunded.

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