CHICAGO -- Community pride and the love of hockey are alive and well across the country and now 10 communities are one step closer to being named Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2016. The Kraft Heinz search for America's most passionate hockey community, in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL®) and National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), led to more than a thousand local rink nominations across the United States. Now that the nominations have been narrowed down to 10 finalists, the first round of public voting will begin on April 12. Kraft Heinz will award funds to each of the finalists for arena upgrades and the grand prize winner will be awarded $150,000 and the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN.
The 10 communities advancing to the first round of public voting include:
• Bridgewater Ice Arena - Bridgewater, Mass.
• Lake Placid Olympic Center Arena - Lake Placid, N.Y.
• Lakeview Arena - Marquette, Mich.
• Rockville Ice Arena - Rockville, Md.
• Twin Ponds Family Complex East - Harrisburg, Pa.
• Fox Valley Ice Arena - Geneva, Ill.
• MAYSA Arena - Minot Park District - Minot, N.D.
• NYTEX Sports Centre - North Richland Hills, Texas
• Pagel Activity Center - Minnetonka, Minn.
• Rushmore Thunderdome - Rapid City, S.D.
"We're thrilled to see so many U.S. communities rally behind their local rinks and love of hockey, once again nominating more than 1,000 rinks across the country," said Nina Barton, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Kraft Heinz. "The personal and passionate stories shared throughout the nomination process were truly inspiring, and demonstrate what Kraft Hockeyville USA is all about. We're looking forward to watching hockey fans across America unite around these 10 finalists to select this year's winner."
USA Hockey teamed up with Kraft Heinz on Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA to help support and raise awareness for youth hockey across the country. All 50 states and the District of Columbia were represented among more than a thousand individual rinks nominated, accounting for nearly 70 percent of rinks nationwide, according to USA Hockey data.
The first of three rounds of voting to determine the Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA 2016 winner will begin on April 12. The voting schedule is as follows:
• Round 1 (April 12-14) - Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $10,000 toward arena upgrades.
• Round 2 (April 19-20) - Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $25,000 toward arena upgrades.
• Round 3 (April 25-26) - One community will emerge as "Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA" 2016; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.
The grand prize winner will be announced on or around April 30 and will receive the top prize of $150,000 and the opportunity to host an NHL® Pre-Season Game broadcast on NBCSN.
For contest rules and complete program details, visit www.KraftHockeyville.com. Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA 2016 can also be found at Facebook.com/KraftHockeyvilleUSA and on Twitter (@HockeyvilleUSA). You can join the conversation using #HockeyvilleUSA.