The Austin Ice Bats started play in the WPHL for the 1996-97 season, named after the bats that lived under a local bridge and one of the most unique hockey team names and logos of all time. The team was pretty successful on the ice, making the playoffs four of their five seasons in the WPHL. They would advance all the way to the finals in 2000, losing to New Mexico on the semi-finals.
After the 2000-01, season the WPHL would merge into the CHL and the Ice Bats spent seven seasons in the CHL. They would make it to the playoff finals in 2001 and 2002, coming up short against Memphis in five games both times. After that, the team wasn't quite the same. They would miss the playoffs four of their last five years and would eventually go out of business in 2008.