MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Southern Minnesota is finally getting some love for Hockey Day Minnesota as it will be arriving in Mankato in January 2021.
“Mankato, I don’t know if you know, smartassets.com, the website that ranks great hockey towns in the nation, we were ranked number four in the nation in 2018. We are a community who loves hockey,” Visit Mankato President Anna Thill said.
Hockey Day Minnesota is a yearly event that travels to a different city each year.
Mankato West Activities Director Joe Johnson is most excited for the lower levels who may get a chance to play.
“Boys and girls having that opportunity, they would be ecstatic,” Johnson explained. “There can’t be much better than being a high school athlete and seeing yourself on TV especially in a big event throughout the state and Minnesota, the State of Hockey, that would be a great honor and our kids would love that.”
Hockey Day Minnesota 2021 will be the first Hockey Day hosted on a college campus in its 15-year history.
Minnesota State University, Mankato has the unique opportunity to show off its campus in a way it did when the Minnesota Vikings’ Training Camp was in town.
“We’re looking forward to showcasing the university and the community and engaging the students and have prospective students come down and get a feel for everything Minnesota State has to offer,” MSU Activities Director Kevin Buisman added.
The planning process for the event extends well beyond a year.
Buisman says they felt pretty good about the chances the event would come to town after a site visit this past summer from organizers representing FOX Sports North and the Minnesota Wild.
"We kind of had to maintain that confidentiality until it was announced last Saturday," added Buisman. "It was exciting to see all that hard work behind the scenes come to fruition."