St. Albert arenas in Hockeyville running
Akinsdale-Kinex project cracks top 16 in nationwide contest
Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 06:00 am
A St. Albert arena project is in the running for a top-four position in the annual Kraft Hockeyville contest.
Officials with the St. Albert Minor Hockey Association submitted an application to the nationwide contest and learned that the proposal to upgrade Akinsdale-Kinex twin arenas made the top 16 in Canada. On Saturday they will find out if they’ve now made it among the four finalists.
“It’s quite exciting, just to even make the eight western, final 16,” said Joe Becigneul, referee in chief with the association.
Kraft Hockeyville is an annual competition hosted by CBC Sports, Kraft Foods and the NHL in which communities across Canada demonstrate their commitment to hockey and compete for prize money by having Canadians vote for their favourite arena.
The winner receives a total of $100,000 for arena updates as well as the chance to host a preseason NHL game. But the 16 finalists also receive $25,000 each, doubling that amount if they make it into the top four.
Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean announced the 16 finalists (eight from Western Canada and eight from the East) during last Saturday’s broadcast. Following the announcement, Canadians were able to place votes for the top four communities until Monday night.
The winners will be announced on the next Hockey Night in Canada broadcast this Saturday.
Becigneul said the hockey association wants to redevelop the Akinsdale-Kinex facility to make space for four new workout rooms. The facility is lacking space for players to work out before the game, he said.
The budget for renovations is set for $86,000 but the project will likely need more, he said.
“We would certainly use all of the $100,000 towards that and we would be putting some of our (building fund) into it as well,” he said.
There is no limit on how many votes one person can cast in the Hockeyville contest. Should St. Albert make it into the top four, residents should vote often to move the city into first place, he said.
“You can stay up all night and vote if you want to,” Becigneul said.
Voting for first place will start March 15 on krafthockeyville.cbc.ca.