Bernick’s Arena a finalist in Hockeyville contest

Bernick’s Arena has been named one of the four finalists in the Kraft Hockeyville competition. The arena is the only Minnesota arena to advance as a finalist. Kraft Hockeyville is an annual competition sponsored by Kraft Foods, the National Hockey League and the NHL Players’ Association in which communities compete to demonstrate their commitment to the sport of ice hockey.

To participate, community members were invited to submit their rink nominations. The application form included a short story, as well as photographs and/or video depicting the community’s hometown pride and passion for the game of hockey.

“The passion for hockey in this community is like none I have ever seen.” said Cory Obert, Sartell Youth Hockey Association board member and assistant high school coach in a press release. 

Judges selected four finalists, including Bernick’s Arena, on March 24. The winner will be determined by a public vote beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, March 30, and ending at 10 a.m. March 31. The winning community will receive a cash prize dedicated to upgrading their local home arena, as well as the opportunity to host an NHL pre-season game. Runners-up receive smaller cash prizes to upgrade their ice rinks.

“Since opening the doors of Bernick’s Arena in 2003, it has supported over 5,000 youth and adults practicing and competing. Unfortunately, current facilities cannot keep up with demand,” Sartell Mayor Ryan Fitzthum said in a press release. “Having an opportunity to partner with Kraft Hockeyville will kick-start our funding for a second sheet of ice in Sartell and allow our youth more access to ice time.”

The arena’s mission is to provide youth the opportunity to participate in a sport or be on an athletic team leading to lifelong development and success. However, they can no longer support that mission with Sartell’s growing population and a single sheet of ice.

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