Coachella Valley Firebirds enter AHL for ’22-23 season as Kraken’s top affiliate
The AHL’s 32nd franchise will be called the Coachella Valley Firebirds.
Taking its name from a desert legend, the name, primary and secondary logos, and colors of the Firebirds were unveiled by Oak View Group CEO Tim Leiweke near the construction site of the new arena this past Friday.
The team, owned jointly by OVG and the Seattle Kraken ownership group led by David Bonderman, took its inspiration as a spiritual descendant of the Kraken — a creature born of myth and legend — where the Kraken is hidden in the deep dark ocean below, the Firebird rises out of the flames of the desert to soar high above. In this spirit, the Firebirds embody the yang to the Kraken’s yin, opposites that complete each other — fire and ice, sea and desert.
“Over the last two years, and after listening to fans, our leadership, and partners, we’ve been heavily involved in identifying the best team name and brand to represent the nine cities of the Coachella Valley,” said Leiweke. “As a proud resident of the valley, I think the Firebirds has a meaningful representation for the beauty and what people experience when they come to our great community.”
Steve Fraser, president of Coachella Valley Arena and the Firebirds commented, “We are very excited to finally share the team’s logo and colors and look forward to representing the entire Coachella Valley as we work toward opening night in 2022.”
The design of the bird uses a similar beveling technique as the Seattle Kraken’s “S” logo as another visual tie to the team’s parent NHL organization, which has further been carried out into the team’s wordmark. In embracing the team’s roots in the Coachella Valley, the type design embodies the Mid-Century Modern design aesthetic for which the Valley has become world-famous.
For the secondary logo, the Firebirds have looked to its home for inspiration, featuring a palm tree against a field of mountains, showcasing the iconic landscape of the Coachella Valley. This is no ordinary palm tree, however, it has nine fronds, one for each city in the Valley, uniting us all together under one banner. Additionally, as part of its commitment to inclusivity, the primary and secondary Firebirds logos will be included in special color variants for friends, family, and neighbors in the LGBTQIA+ community.
The team partnered with Brian Gundell Graphic Design Co. to create the team brand. Gundell is an award-winning graphic designer, whose previous work includes developing the secondary logo for the Seattle Kraken, the new brand identity for the San Diego Padres, as well as the recent rebrand for the NCAA’s Sun Belt Conference.
Gundell stated, “We’ve taken the mythological spirit of the Firebird and the Kraken and applied it throughout the entire brand. Where the Kraken utilize a palette of ocean blues with a red accent of warning, the Firebirds have flipped the script. Using Deep Sea Blue to tie both brands together, the Firebirds build out a primary color palette in flaming red and orange, with an ice blue accent in the bird’s eye.”
Located on 43.35 acres of land at I-10 and Cook Street, in Riverside County on land owned by the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation, the arena will be more than 300,000 square feet and feature 11,000-plus seats and include modern suites and premium hospitality clubs. It will include an adjoining facility that will serve as a year-round community gathering space and the training center for the AHL team.
The arena is projected to open in the last quarter of 2022.
(November 8, 2021)