The original Manchester Storm team were founded in 1995 as a tenant of the newly-opened Manchester Arena. The Storm won the First Division championship in their inaugural season, before becoming a founding member of the Ice Hockey Superleague in 1996. The Storm won the league championship in the 1998–99 season, before capturing the Autumn Cup the following season. The Storm drew many large crowds, breaking the British attendance record for a match against the Sheffield Steelers during the 1996–97 season. The original Storm were forced to close in 2002 after financial problems.