Ask us: 1,600 players skated on the Hockey Day rink (not all at once) | Local news

Q: First, I want to express how impressed I am with the performance that was Hockey Day Minnesota in Mankato. I assume the event was wildly successful. Everyone in the community should be proud of all those who have worked so hard to bring it all together. The atmosphere reminded me of the ice castle of the winter carnival in our former metro.

I would like to know the number of people who attended, how many participants came outside the Mankato area, how many people played on the ice, the TV ratings of the Maverick men’s hockey game, the event got its costs back, etc. Hockey Day Mankato really raised the bar and will be tough for the next city to the top.

ONE: Lots of questions here about Hockey Day Minnesota, which Mankato turned into Hockey Eight-Days Minnesota when it became the first city in southern Minnesota to host the annual celebration of the best game you can name (after baseball).

The event ran from the 16th-23rd. January, and the event centered on a temporary skating rink on the football field at Minnesota State University’s Blakeslee Stadium and culminated in a Division I college hockey competition between the Mavericks and St. Louis. Thomas. But the organizers tried to create a winter carnival atmosphere with hockey as the magnet – and brought in several firewood burners, ice cream cones for family ice skating, food and beverage vendors, fireworks and a massively heated tent with three nights of live music.

Despite some brutal wind chills and a few snowstorms, the results were pretty good.

The organizers did not have a specific spectator number because many of the youth hockey matches early in the week did not require tickets. About 22,500 people attended the full range of festivities during the week.

Ticket sales amounted to $ 295,000 – mainly generated by the series of games on January 22, which culminated in the victory of the Maverick men’s team.

Of the ticket buyers, more than half came from outside Mankato-North Mankato, said David Wittenberg, co-chair of the organizing committee.

“We can share that approximately 58% of the participants with the ticket were from postcodes outside 56001/56003,” he said.

The local convention and visitor agency does not have accurate figures on the impact of hockey day on hotels, bars and restaurants, although consumption of hotel rooms had increased, said Brittany Junck, marketing and communications manager for Greater Mankato Growth and Visit Mankato.

“I was able to confirm that hotel demand during the week of Hockey Day Minnesota increased by 18% compared to 2020 and 10% up compared to 2019,” she said.

Mankato really increased the number of outdoor games, especially of youth teams, compared to other communities that have hosted Hockey Day since its inception in 2007. Over eight days, the Blakeslee track was home to matches with 38 youth hockey teams consisting of more than 1,000 boys and girls. girls players, Wittenberg said, “including every single one of our local youth hockey team teams, but also 16 traveling teams from all over southern Minnesota.”

Also, 12 high school teams experienced hockey at Blakeslee, including both the JV and the university’s boys ‘and girls’ teams from Mankato East and Mankato West, a total of 275 players.

Add another 120 collegiate hockey players to the men’s and women’s matches with the Mavericks.

There were also games involving four adult rec teams (40 skaters), two MSU alumni teams (nearly 100 participants) and a few “Community Night” games that included 30 community “hockey players” and close to 50 veterans affiliated with the Minnesota Warriors team.

So there are about 1,600 people of different ages and levels playing hockey on the field.

Ask Us Guy twice tried to get viewership for high school and collegiate games broadcast by Bally Sports North, the regional sports network. But after more than a week of waiting for an answer, it looks like he’s going to whiz on the assessment question.

Finally, the event managed to raise funds to practice hockey in the Mankato area, thanks to the ticket buyers and some significant companies and private donations.

Nearly $ 450,000 goes to a dedicated fund managed by the Mankato Area Foundation for future youth hockey programming and facility development. And the men’s Mavericks team will receive a donation of $ 100,000, Wittenberg said.

“We also made local nonprofit contributions to the ECHO Food Shelf and FOCP Backpack Food program as part of our Community Night celebration and programming,” he said.

Contact Ask Us at The Free Press, 418 S. Second St., Mankato, MN 56001. Call Mark Fischenich at 344-6321 or email your question to mfischenich@mankatofreepress.com; put Ask us in the subject line.

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