The Waterloo Black Hawks began as a semi-professional team in the USHL in 1962. The league had been renamed prior to the season after beginning in 1948 as the American Amateur Hockey League. The team's home ice was the McElroy Auditorium. The team started strong, winning the USHL championship every season from 1964 to 1968. After the 1968-69 season, the Black Hawks went on a one-year hiatus to become the Minnesota North Stars' top farm team, the Iowa Stars. The Stars finished 35-26-11 in 1969-70, one point behind league champion Omaha (whom the Stars would later lose to in the Central Professional Hockey League final series). The Stars reverted back to the Black Hawks and the USHL the very next year, amid financial losses topping $150,000 and a Stars move to Cleveland.