Tuesday, August 25, 2015

North Star College Cup schedule change

The North Star College Cup will move from a Friday-Saturday format to a Saturday-Sunday format this year, the University of Minnesota announced on Tuesday.

Perhaps in a move to boost attendance for the tournament's first game, games will take place at 1 and 5 p.m. each day.

Minnesota State has the first game this year, taking on St. Cloud State on Saturday, Jan. 30. Minnesota and Bemidji State will follow with Minnesota Duluth sitting out this year's tournament. The two losing teams will play at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, with the two winners playing at 5 p.m.

This will be the third year of the North Star College Cup. Bemidji State won last year, defeating Minnesota State in the championship game.

Fundraising ramps up

Since the announcement that David Backes was donating $100,000 to Minnesota State's strength and conditioning room, two more major gifts to the campaign to finish off the new hockey center at the Verizon Wireless Center have been announced, pledges of $15,000 and $35,000

Including an initial $50,000 gift, that's at least $200,000 (announced donations, anyway) of the $800,000 or so MSU is seeking for the project, which is going to furnishings, fixtures and equipment for the area the Mavericks men's and women's teams will call home.

The fundraising was the subject of my column in today's Free Press, which you can read here.

If done right, coaches and other officials hope the efforts can be a sustaining campaign, one that would allow for other "competitive needs," such as cost-of-attendance allowance now approved by the NCAA and summer aid. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

City says yes to new scoreboard

The Verizon Wireless Center is about to step into the 21st century — finally.

The Mankato City Council on Monday night unanimously approved a new, four-sided, center-hung video scoreboard to be installed sometime this fall. Cost of the project is $640,000.

According to Mark Fischenich's story from Monday's meeting, officials hope to have the board up and operational sometime in November.

This is great news to the folks who attend hockey games. Replay is a huge part of the fan experience (to say nothing of the reporters'!), especially in a fast game in which big things can happen in a snap.

Of course, it probably means the Kiss Cam is coming to Mankato, too. Oh well.