St. Paul, MN – April 15, 2017 – Bloomington has advanced out of the Top 10 in the Kraft Hockeyville competition to find America’s most passionate hockey community. Bloomington is now among the final four communities remaining, and is up against Bloomington, IL as the two look to make it into the finals of the competition. Bloomington, MN is looking to win $150,000 in arena upgrades and host an NHL preseason game at its home rink of Bloomington Ice Garden. The second round of voting opens at 11:00 PM on Monday, April 17 and closes at 10:59 PM on Wednesday, April 19.
Austin, Minnesota was one of the original 10 communities, but did not advance to the second round of voting. Austin will receive $10,000 in arena upgrades for Riverside Arena.
Players in the Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington Kennedy/Richfield and Bloomington Girls Youth Hockey organizations play at Bloomington Ice Garden, which was built in 1970 and is affectionately known as “BIG.” With three youth organizations hosting numerous games and tournaments, Bloomington Ice Garden is one of the busiest ice arenas in the State of Hockey. It has served as home to some of the best high school teams and best players the United States has ever produced, including current Minnesota Wild star, Zach Parise. “BIG” was also the training home of the 1980 United States “Miracle on Ice” team, which was coached by the legendary Herb Brooks and won the gold medal in Lake Placid.
In advancing to the top four in the contest, Bloomington now qualifies for a minimum of $25,000 in arena upgrades. The winning community of the Kraft Hockeyville contest will have the honor of hosting an NHL Preseason game in their community and $150,000 toward upgrading their local rink, courtesy of Kraft.
“It was so gratifying to see the entire Bloomington community, as well as many outside the community get behind Bloomington hockey and we are so thrilled that Bloomington has advanced to the semifinals,” said Minnesota Hockey President, Dave Margenau. “The Minnesota Hockey communities have a way of coming together and I believe this truly has become an effort that everybody in the State of Hockey is getting behind. So keep voting and let’s make sure Bloomington, Minnesota gets to the final round of voting!”
Austin and Bloomington were two of over 7,500 communities that were nominated. The 10 finalists were selected based on criteria that reflect the community’s passion for hockey, community spirit and creativity/originality. St. Michael-Albertville was the last Minnesota community to reach the top 4 of the Kraft Hockeyville competition, doing so in 2015.
There are three (3) methods to vote: (a) visit the Website and follow the links and instructions to vote; (b) visit the Website and follow the links and instructions to click on the tweet button to vote via Twitter. To vote via Twitter, you must be a registered Twitter account user and must be in compliance with Twitter platform rules; or (c) use a two-way text-messaging capable device and text the applicable Finalist Submission's keyword (BloomingtonMN) to 35350 to vote. Each eligible voter may vote fifty (50) times via the website and via text per day during each Voting Phase.