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Tropics enthusiasts out of luck, Flint OHL franchise to be known as Firebirds

After over 4,000 fan submissions and weeks of deliberation, IMS Hockey Corp. has finally announced the name of their OHL hockey franchise set to begin play this fall: the Flint Firebirds.

While the Flint Tropics, based upon the 2008’s Semi-Pro starring Will Ferrell, emerged as the early favorite (earning over 26% of the vote in an MLive poll), Flint’s newest franchise appeared to desire an original moniker, or at least one that would not invite mockery.

Reported by the Flint Journal, “Firebirds” was submitted by 38 different people and according to team officials, represents freedom, oftentimes the result of a difficult journey, and offers significance to residents of Flint and Genesee County.

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“Flint is a community that has been built and sustained on the fierce resilience of its residents, and we see the Firebird as a symbol of that resilience,” team president Costa Papista said in a release. “Flint has pulled through a difficult journey, and is now standing on the verge of great potential and promise.

“We see a revival happening in Flint. It’s the very reason we chose to be part of this community in the first place.”

In addition to the logo reveal, Flint also revealed their home and away jerseys, crafted by CCM-Reebok.

IMS Hockey group originally registered Tropics, Pride, Phoenix, Sparks, and Vikings as potential nicknames for their former Plymouth Whalers franchise in mid-February. The Firebirds moniker did not emerge until late in the game, becoming the last name registered for trademark on February 25.

The Firebirds will play the 2015-2016 hockey season at Perani Arena on Lapeer Rd.

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