The Hampton Aces were formed in 1978 as the Jersey Aces, playing in the NEHL for the 1978-79 season. The NEHL was created from the ashes of the NAHL, with former NAHL teams including the Baltimore Clippers and Erie Blades as well as traditional NAHL cities such as Syracuse, Utica, and Johnstown. Later on, the NEHL would be renamed the EHL trying to take on the legacy of the former EHL that lasted for decades and eventually turned into the NAHL.
TheJersey Acesplayed at the old Cherry Hill Arena (called the Centrum at the time), just across the river from Philadelphia in Cherry Hill, NJ. The Aces were partially owned by Mike Schmidt, the famous baseball player. At the end of 1978, the team unexpected lost its home when the Arena was shut down. The arena's fire and liability insurance were revoked and the owner chose to close the doors. The Aces scrambled and wound up with a home in Virginia at the Hampton Coliseum, which had recently been vacated by theHampton Gullswhen the SHL went under. However, the Aces were already in tough financially and now had to pay the difference in travel fees for each of their opponents who now had to go to VA instead of NJ. TheHampton Aceswould still manage to finish the 78-79 season 37-29-3 and lose in the Finals to theErie Blades.
In the following two years, the Aces were not good. They won less than 20 games each of their two seasons in Virginia. After the 1980-81 season, the league and the team would both fold. Some trivia; future NHL GM Neil Smith played for the Aces.