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Tupelo T-Rex

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Tupelo T-Rex
Tupelo t rex 1999
City: Tupelo, Mississippi
League: WPHL
Division: Southeast Division
Founded: 1998
Home Arena: Bancorpsouth Arena
Colors: green, white, yellow, purple

                   

Owner(s): Monty Fletcher
Head Coach: Peter Esdale, Brad Gratton
Media: Juliana Nykolaiszyn
Franchise history
1998 to 2001: Tupelo T-Rex (WPHL)

The Tupelo T-Rex was a professional ice hockey team, a member of the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) and played their home games at BancorpSouth Center from 1998 through 2001. In 2001, following the team's recent run to the WPHL finals, The Western Pro Hockey League joined the Central Hockey League and the T-Rex folded.

Issues with Tupelo, CHL, and SEHLEdit

After the 2000-01 season, Tupelo was invited to be a part of the WPHL-Central Hockey League merger. It would have set up a local rivalry with current CHL member Memphis Riverkings. However, the T-Rex ownership refused and decided not to join the merger. Their attempts to join two other pro leagues backfired when the CHL invoked a non-compete clause, claiming the territorial rights to Tupelo as part of the merger. With no other options, Tupelo folded as a pro franchise and became a juniors team.

Several attempts to re-start the franchise, most notably as a team in the South East Hockey League failed, as it turned out that, despite not fielding a team, the Central Hockey League had a 5 year non-compete clause with the BancorpSouth Center. Thus, no professional hockey team could enter the venue in Tupelo. In addition to problems surrounding the facility's legal issues with the team, the T-Rex had attempted membership with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and attempted the move to the SEHL, but were barred from this move due to the non-compete clause the CHL held over the arena.

FutureEdit

As of the present, the future of the T-Rex no longer exists in Tupelo. The legal issues the team faced from its efforts to merge to either the SEHL or CHL blocked occupied too much time for the team to recover. Since then, the only ice hockey to have come back to the Bancorpsouth Arena has been the Mississippi State University Men's DIII club team.

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