The Title Of ‘Hockeyville USA’ Now Belongs To Marquette [Video]
Sure, Detroit is 'HockeyTOWN', but another Michigan city has claimed the title 'HockeyVILLE'. Marquette has won a competition to earn the title, which comes with $150-thousand of arena improvements.
Lakeview Arena in Marquette hosts a crap load of hockey. From Northern Michigan University hockey games, to local pee wee leagues. A recent competition by Kraft had fans vote online and send texts to a special number to determine the finalists. They announced the winner Saturday, and the old rink was packed with locals for the announcement which declared them 'Hockeyville USA'.
"It's just a terrific day. We're a small town and we don't have a lot of resources, so to win this honor from NBC and Kraft means so very much to us," Dr. Fritz Hoenke, the Marquette resident who spearheaded the campaign said after winning the award. "We sure have a hockey tradition...It's not just the city, it's not just the great Upper Peninsula, but we've had support from all around Michigan and all over the Midwest...Hockey's a twelve month thing here..."
In addition to the money for renovations, the Arena will also get to host a NHL pre-season game next year between the Carolina Hurricane and the Buffalo Sabres.
The Lakeview Arena also hosts the annual 'Pasty Drop' every year to ring in the New Year. A giant meat pie is lowered down from the rafters.
Many people may not know this, but the Upper Peninsula is the birthplace of professional hockey. A team from Portage Lake near Houghton was the first team to get paid for playing the sport back in 1902.