The Ontario Reign want to thank their fans for making them the top team in the ECHL for fan attendance for three years in a row! The Reign nabbed a total of 233,223 fans in the 2009-10 season, averaging a grand total of 6,451 fans per game, an increase of over 10% from their inaugural season. A team record of 240,596 fans was set during the 2010-11 season, an average of 6,683 fans per game. The Reign looks to surpass that record this season.
On February 26, 2008, the ECHL announced that the former Texas Wildcatters membership would be transferred to Ontario. After receiving numerous entries in a “Name the Team” contest, Mike Brewster of Fontana’s entry, the Ontario Reign, was selected as the official team name and the logo was announced on March 17, 2008.
The Reign named Karl Taylor, former coach of the Reading Royals, the first-ever head coach of the new franchise on June 27, 2008. The team added their first player ever to the roster when they signed defenseman David Walker on July 29, 2008. Walker, who hails from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, made his professional debut during the 2004-2005 season while playing with the now defunct Long Beach Ice Dogs.
The official team Web site, ontarioreign.com, was launched on August 19, 2008. The same day, the Reign’s first Zamboni was delivered to the Citizens Business Bank Arena, marking the 9,000th ice resurfacing machine manufactured by the Frank J. Zamboni Co. in the company’s 60 year history.
The Ontario Reign opened their inaugural season with a road game in Bakersfield on October 18, 2008, where they came away with their first-ever win with a score of 2-1. The first home game in club history was played October 25, 2008 at the brand-new Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario. The Reign defeated the Las Vegas Wranglers 4-1 to claim the victory in their home opener.
Ontario had three players named to the 2008 ECHL All-Star Game Roster: forwards Tim Kraus and Geoff Walker and goaltender John Murray.
The Reign earned a spot in the 2009 ECHL Kelly Cup Playoffs and was named the Pacific Division Champions after ending the regular season with a 38-29-4-2 record. They faced off against the Stockton Thunder in the first round, but the Reign’s inaugural season ultimately came to a close with a Game 7 loss to Stockton.
In their first-ever season, the Reign ranked second in attendance in the ECHL, drawing 210,801 to the Citizens Business Bank Arena during the 2008-2009 season, and averaging 5,856 fans at each game.
Approaching the Reign's fourth season, Coach Taylor took on an assistant coaching position with the AHL's Chicago Wolves, leaving an opening for a new head coach. The 2010-11 CHL "Coach of the Year," Jason Christie, joined the Reign August 23, 2011. For the first time in franchise history, the team brought in an assistant coach. Mark Hardy, former Los Angeles Kings assistant coach, joined the Reign bench on August 24, 2011.