Pee Dee Pride
The Pee Dee Pride, known as the Florence Pride for the 2003–04 ECHL season, are a defunct minor-league professional hockey team that was based in Florence, South Carolina, where they played in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL) from 1997 until 2005. The team came to Florence as a relocation of the Knoxville Cherokees, one of the five charter members of the ECHL which was originally housed in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The Pride played at the Florence Civic Center, which seats 7,426 fans. The name of the organization comes from the region of South Carolina in which Florence is located, known as the "Pee Dee" region. The team's mascot was Paws the Lion. The organization never won the Kelly Cup, the ECHL championship trophy. However, the Pride were previous winners of the Palmetto Cup for best team in South Carolina, and the Brabham Cup for best regular season record. In-state rivals of the Pride included the South Carolina Stingrays, the Greenville Grrrowl, and the Columbia Inferno. Reports have circulated that the owners of the organization will attempt to relocate the team to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. However, arena construction on the campus of Coastal Carolina University has been stalled, and at the ECHL league meetings in June 2009, the membership was returned to the league, ending the franchise's lineage.
- Annual ECHL Board Of Governors Meeting Concludes, ECHL Press Release, June 29, 2009.