Photo of the scoreboard at the Bloomington Ice Garden.

Image Credit: Tony Webster (CC BY 2.0)

Each season, Kraft Foods, the National Hockey League and NHL Players Association hold two contests for smaller communities that allows them to put their passion for the game of hockey on full display. One contest is held in Canada and the other in America. The NHL will announce the winner of the 2017 USA competition during tomorrow’s second round matchup between the New York Rangers and Ottawa Senators.  

This year's finalists include Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania and Bloomington Ice Garden in Bloomington, Minnesota. This year’s American finalists have a little bit of history to them. The Rostraver Ice Garden’s roof collapsed in 2010. The Bloomington Ice Garden was used as a practice arena for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” hockey team. Both arenas clearly have a strong base of support behind them and will be waiting on edge until the winner is announced. The winning community will receive $150,000 from the NHL to renovate and update their arena in addition to hosting a preseason exhibition game between two NHL teams in the fall.  


The Canadian competition concluded earlier this month. O’Leary Community Sports Centre in O’Leary, Prince Edward Island was the winner and will receive $100,000 for arena upgrades in addition to hosting the New Jersey Devils and Ottawa Senators in September. Ituna Arena in Ituna, Saskatoon was the Canadian runner-up. The Kraft Hockeyville competition has been ongoing since 2006, originally airing as a reality show and afterwards was regularly featured during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada

Other finalists in both countries also receive smaller sums of money for arena upgrades. Finalists for this year’s competition held in the United States include Riverside Arena (Austin, Minnesota), Pepsi Center (Bloomington, Illinois), Maysa Arena (Binot, North Dakota), Douglas Ice Arena (Douglas, Wyoming), Ira S. Wilson Ice Arena (Geneseo, New York), Falmouth Ice Arena (Falmouth, Massachusetts), Bill Gray’s Regional Complex (Rochester, New York) and Louis Astorino Arena (Hamden, Connecticut).




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