EL PASO, Texas -- The Dallas Stars and Arizona Coyotes will travel to El Paso to play in a preseason game on Oct. 3, the NHL announced Wednesday.
El Paso is hosting the game after winning the Kraft Hockeyville USA 2020 contest to find the most-spirited hockey communities in the country. El Paso was awarded $150,000 in rink upgrades for the County Coliseum, as well as $10,000 worth of new equipment gifted for the local Rhinos hockey team.
"Our organization is proud to represent the great state of Texas in this preseason match-up," said Dallas Stars President and CEO Brad Alberts. "The selection of El Paso is a testament to the hard work of numerous individuals and organizations to help sustain and grow the game of hockey in our state."
“We are thrilled to participate in the Kraft Hockeyville game in El Paso,” Coyotes President and CEO Xavier Gutierrez said in a press release Wednesday. “We are grateful to the NHL, NHLPA, Kraft Heinz and the Dallas Stars for this incredible opportunity and we look forward to interacting with the El Paso community to grow the great game of hockey in Texas."
For ticket information, click here to visit the El Paso Rhinos website. The team is handling ticket distribution for the NHL exhibition game.
Before the Rhinos decided to come to El Paso, the Coliseum didn't even have an ice rink. In fact, it was built originally as a horse stable and rodeo venue.
"When we first walked into it, it was a dirt floor and where the locker rooms are were bull shoots and there were pens and stuff like that, you know it's pretty amazing," said Cory Herman, the El Paso Rhinos owner.
With the $150,000 the Rhinos won to make improvements to their facility, the team is insulating the roof, changing the area lights and renovating the bathrooms. But on top of the prize money, the NHL has put in their own money to replace the boards, redo the penalty boxes and work on chiller.
"By winning that event all of a sudden, now we're open year round and also now we're having these camps. So now you really see it's really going to help us grow hockey in El Paso," Herman said.