El Paso is Hockeyville; will host NHL game, get $150K for Rhinos rink upgrade
EL PASO, Texas -- The El Paso Rhinos came through on its biggest power play in franchise history.
The city of El Paso was announced as the winner of 2020 Kraft Hockeyville contest Sunday night, ensuring that they will host an NHL preseason game and receive $150,000 in arena upgrades.
The announcement was made on NBC during the Philadelphia Flyers- New York Islanders playoff broadcast.
The Rhinos used a full-fledged campaign to encourage votes on the Kraft Hockeyville website once voting began Saturday at 9 am.
El Paso beat out East Grand Forks (MN), River Falls (WI), and Wichita (KS).
The arena upgrade will be a big boost for the El Paso Events Center, where the Rhinos play their home games.
Rhinos Head Coach Cory Herman says roof repairs will be much needed to prevent the desert sun from damaging the ice.
“The roof is kinda the one thing that really we’d need help with," says Herman of a potential renovation.
"We're trying to cool the ground and the heating up of the roof, it's not properly insulated, not properly sealed,” adds Herman of the challenge of playing in the desert.
It is not known yet when the NHL game will be played, but regardless, it's a major win for the city as they grow the popularity of the sport.