Bloomington Ice Garden is top 10 finalist in national competition

Bloomington Ice Garden finalist in national contest

BLOOMINGTON, Minn - A historic ice rink in Bloomington may soon receive more than $100,000 to pay for some much-needed upgrades.

The Bloomington Ice Garden was built in 1970 and has since hosted several NHL players, including the "Great One" Wayne Gretzky.

The 1980 Miracle on Ice Olympic team also trained at the facility. The rink and nine others make up this year's top 10 finalists for this year's Kraft Hockeyville USA contest.

"We're all very proud of our hockey heritage," Bloomington Amateur Hockey Association President Craig Trenary says.

All finalists will receive $10,000 each, but the winning community will receive $150,000 and the chance to host an NHL pre-season game later this year.

News of their nomination came out Saturday night. That's when community members in Bloomington started their effort to get the word out. 

Members are encouraging people to send in their votes online at the Kraft Hockeyville website.

"We love the rinks here, but when we go to other cities we notice how dated our rink is," Jefferson Hockey Booster Club member Stephanie Cossette says.

Cossete is also encouraging community members to vote for the correct Bloomington. She says another rink in Bloomington, Illinois, is also a top 10 finalist.

"So we want people to know to vote for the Bloomington Ice Garden, in Bloomington, Minnesota," Cosette explains.

Rink manager Bob Carr knew about the nomination several days ago when a camera crew came by to take pictures of the facility.

"They thought I had a really good poker face," Carr laughs. 

Now that the secret is out, community members can start talking about how to spend the money. Carr says they're hoping to update their locker rooms, as well as the many viewing areas in the facility. They're also looking at improvements to the food area and entryway.

"The facility is very well cleaned and maintained, but just like a house, there are certain updates you need to make after so many years," Trenary says.

The voting officially starts at 12 a.m. Tuesday and runs until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night. Votes can be sent through the contest website, and also via text and email.

Contest rules say you can vote up to 50 times a day.

For more on the contest, click here.

© 2017 KARE-TV


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