The Express were owned by Craig Drecktrah, who formerly owned the United Hockey League's Chicago Hounds and Rockford IceHogs.
It was announced on July 13, 2011 that the Express would be affiliated with the NHL's Columbus Blue Jackets and the AHL's Springfield Falcons.
On April 6, 2012, it was announced that the Chicago Express would cease operations due to poor attendance numbers and lack of support. The Express finished last in the league for average attendance with 2,508. On some nights, the Express, which also had AHL and NHL competition in the same market, was struggling to get 1,000 at its games.
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