SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild today announced a new tradition: The ice sheet at Xcel Energy Center will include water contributed by fans from their local hockey ponds, lakes and rinks. Starting this season, water collected from around the State of Hockey will be brought to the arena, filtered and frozen into the ice. This new tradition is the cornerstone of the Wild's new This Is Our Ice campaign.
"Every winter, when our ponds and lakes freeze over, a rebirth happens as we embrace the frozen beauty of our state," said Matt Majka, Minnesota Wild President. "Lake bays become our hockey home, and everywhere you turn, kids young and old play pick-up hockey. That's what This Is Our Ice is all about - inviting fans throughout the State of Hockey to bring a piece of their hometown hockey heritage to our arena."
On Saturday Sept. 16, fans are invited to "Flood The RInk" and help create the Xcel Energy Center ice for the upcoming season. During this special day, fans are invited to bring their local pond, lake or ice rink water to Xcel Energy Center. In portable containers - a maximum of three ounces of water - fans will contribute water to be placed in a Zamboni located outside Gate 1 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fan-provided water will be filtered and used the following day to help make ice at Xcel Energy Center for the Wild's 2017-18 season.
Activities taking place at Xcel Energy Center on Sept. 16 include:
- "Flood the Rink" - Fans are invited to bring water in portable containers (maximum of three ounces) to be placed in a Zamboni outside Gate 1 from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The Minnesota Wild Breakaway Run begins at 8:30 a.m. outside Xcel Energy Center.
- Single-game tickets for the 2017-18 season will go on sale at 9 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office and at 12 p.m. at all Ticketmaster outlets.
- The Wild will host an open practice for fans starting at 9:45 a.m. (Gates 1 and 2 will open at 9 a.m.).
Wild fans are encouraged to share a photo of themselves collecting water from their favorite pond, lake or ice rink on social media using the hashtag, #OurIce, and explain why they chose that location for their picture.
During the Minnesota State Fair, a limited number of containers will be provided to fans each day at the Wild booth located in the FAN Central building on Dan Patch Avenue and Underwood Street. Wild season ticket holders will receive containers by mail.
At the home opener on Saturday, Oct. 14 when the Wild hosts the Columbus Blue Jackets, a pre-game ceremony will highlight the new initiative, with water from some iconic Minnesota hockey hotbeds being added to the ice surface at Xcel Energy Center. Participants' hometown hockey stories will be shared on Minnesota Wild social media channels, tagged with #OurIce.
"Growing up playing hockey in Minnesota, I felt a sense of camaraderie that I believe is unique to this state," said Zach Parise, Wild left winger. "It's not just hockey players who are a part of the game. It's every Minnesotan who has picked up a stick. It's our families, friends and communities. That's what This Is Our Ice means to me - the feeling that we are all contributing to the legacy of hockey in Minnesota."
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