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‘Unbelievable experience’ NHL teams’ visit to El Paso providing big boost for Rhinos

Kraft Hockeyville

EL PASO, Texas -- The countdown for the anticipated pre-season match up between the Arizona Coyotes and the Dallas Stars in El Paso is on.

It's a match, one-year in the making after the Covid-19 pandemic put the festivities on hold.

On Sunday, both teams will face off bringing NHL to the Borderland thanks to the Kraft Hockeyville contest.

"I think it's going to be an unbelievable experience for everybody that gets a attend practice or game and I'm just really really excited for the city," said Director of the El Paso Rhinos Cory Herman.

The Kraft Hockeyville festivities kicked off earlier this week. Fans were able to take pictures with the historic Stanley Cup.

The online contest also awarded the El Paso Rhinos $150,000 to renovate the El Paso County Event Center.

"We resealed the top of our roof and inside we insulated and sealed it all up," Herman said. "We built breezeways coming into the arena we wanted to kind of keep all the cold air in and the hot air out."

All the lighting in the arena was also replaced and the bathrooms completely renovated, just some of the improvements to help make what used to be a horse stable, an ice skating rink.

The renovations also give the Rhino's the opportunity to host open year-round youth hockey programs or figure skating programs.

It also gives them ability to host trails in the summer here in El Paso, instead of going to other cities.

Both teams will be arriving in El Paso Saturday, visiting several non-profits, the El Paso Children's Hospital, and will host a hockey clinic that is sold out.

Tickets are no longer available for Sunday's big game, but it will be live streamed through the NHL's website. You can watch it by clicking here.

https://twitter.com/PR_NHL/status/1443262248940625920?s=20

Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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