Steamboat seeks to add Hockeyville USA to its brand |

Steamboat seeks to add Hockeyville USA to its brand

— Watch out Ski Town and Bike Town USA monikers. If local hockey aficionados get their way, Steamboat Springs could also soon be known as Kraft Hockeyville USA.

The food giant is sponsoring a contest awarding a grand prize of $150,000 in ice rink improvements and, more importantly, the right to host a live NHL pre-season game at the winning town’s ice arena, to be broadcast by NBC.

“It would be huge and do a lot for the local skating community if we win,” said Steamboat director of hockey Corey Allen. “We have a good chance if everyone gets out and votes.”

Additional awards include a runner-up prize of $75,000 in arena upgrades, two first-place prizes of $40,000 each in arena upgrades and six second-place prizes of $20,000 in arena upgrades.

“All that could go a long way here,” Allen added. “But winning the grand prize, with an NHL pre-season game coming to town, would be awesome.”

The potential promotional windfall from winning the award isn’t lost on Steamboat marketers.

“Steamboat is so enthusiastic about hockey that I have no doubt the community will come together and support Howelsen Ice Arena,” Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association CEO Jim Clark. “Earning the title would mean a lot to our hockey community and to the facilities enjoyed by our residents.”

The city of Steamboat Springs first caught wind of the promotion from the town’s youth hockey participants, and it too is now supporting the cause.

“The campaign to win the title of Kraft Hockeyville started with a couple of posters and handouts at the ice arena,” said Emily Hines, the city’s marketing coordinator. “We’re excited that the campaign has started to gain momentum. Winning the Kraft Hockeyville title would have an amazing impact on both the city and the ice arena.”

The money would help fund rink improvements, such as locker room upgrades, a formal concession stand, new ice maintenance and rental equipment, and general facility upgrades, Hines said.

The contest is accepting online nominations through March 18 at, with the top ten finalists open to public voting beginning April 14.

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