The Loveland-based Colorado Eagles will be the Colorado Avalanche’s minor league partner when they move up to the American Hockey League starting in the 2018-19 season.

Officials from both teams announced the change Tuesday. The 15-year-old franchise will continue to play at the Budweiser Events Center in Loveland. Avalanche general manager and former franchise player Joe Sakic said this partnership was something both teams had been dreaming about for years.

"This is an exciting day for our organization,” said Sakic. “What better place to develop our players than 50 miles up the road?"

The Eagles will be moving up from the third-tier ECHL where they won the 2017 league championship.

Before the change, The Avalanche’s primary AHL affiliate was the San Antonio Rampage.