Ice Garden remains in the running for Hockeyville award

Jason Olson
Sports Editor

Bloomington Ice Garden makes it to top four in voting, finalists announced April 22

Instead of top 10, try final four.

Bloomington Ice Garden has two more rounds of voting left to be named Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017 after voters helped them land in the final four from a list of the top 10 on Saturday, April 15.

On the line is $150,000 in rink upgrades plus the opportunity to host an NHL preseason game ahead of the 2017-18 season.

The semifinal round of voting has the Bloomington Ice Garden against Bloomington, Illinois in the West Conference final with voting taking place April 17-19.

Bloomington Ice Garden was built in 1970 and was a training site for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)
Bloomington Ice Garden was built in 1970 and was a training site for the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. Olympic hockey team. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)

The final voting will be 11 p.m. April 23- 10:59 p.m. April 25 by three methods, voting on the website (krafthockeyville.com), on Twitter or by text message, keyword BloomingtonMN to 35350 to vote.

Bloomington Ice Garden, known as BIG, is home to Bloomington Jefferson, Bloomington/Kennedy and Bloomington Girls Youth Hockey organizations in addition to Bloomington Figure Skating Club. Built in 1970, the facility hosts numerous games, tournaments, skating sessions and other events. It was a training home for the 1980 United States “Miracle on Ice” and numerous hockey professionals grew up and continue to skate on one of the three ice sheets.

As a top-four facility, BIG qualifies to receive at least $25,000 in arena upgrades.

The corridor outside Rink 2 sports framed pictures of all state tournament varsity hockey teams from Bloomington. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)
The corridor outside Rink 2 sports framed pictures of all state tournament varsity hockey teams from Bloomington. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)

“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!”

Outside Rink 1 hang two frames encasing various pucks collected over the years. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)
Outside Rink 1 hang two frames encasing various pucks collected over the years. (Sun Current photo by Jason Olson)

Austin’s Riverside Arena was also a top-10 finalist out of 7,500 communities that were nominated and receives $10,000 in rink upgrades.

The 10 finalists were selected based on criteria that reflects the community’s passion for hockey, community spirit and creativity/originality. St. Michael-Albertville reached the top four in 2015.

Contact Jason Olson at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @SunSportsJason