The franchise originated as the Mobile Mysticks in 1995. The team suspended operations in 2002 and moved to Duluth in 2003. They have qualified for the Kelly Cup playoffs for six out of their eight seasons of play as the Gladiators. They were the South Division and Eastern Conference champions in 2006, falling one game to four to the Alaska Aces in the finals.
The Gladiators announced their affiliation with the NHL's Phoenix Coyotes and their AHL affiliate Portland Pirates on August 17, 2011. They later announced an affiliation agreement with the Buffalo Sabres, and their AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans. The Gladiators renewed their affiliation with Phoenix for the 2012–13 season, but did not continue their secondary affiliation with Buffalo.
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