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The Title Of ‘Hockeyville USA’ Now Belongs To Marquette [Video]

Sure, Detroit is ‘HockeyTOWN’, but another Michigan city has claimed the title ‘HockeyVILLE’. Marquette has won a competition to earn the title, which comes with $150-thousand of arena improvements.

Lakeview Arena in Marquette hosts a crap load of hockey. From Northern Michigan University hockey games, to local pee wee leagues. A recent competition by Kraft had fans vote online and send texts to a special number to determine the finalists. They announced the winner Saturday, and the old rink was packed with locals for the announcement which declared them ‘Hockeyville USA’.

“It’s just a terrific day. We’re a small town and we don’t have a lot of resources, so to win this honor from NBC and Kraft¬†means so very much to us,” Dr. Fritz Hoenke, the Marquette resident who spearheaded the campaign said after winning the award. “We sure have a hockey tradition…It’s not just the city, it’s not just the great Upper Peninsula, but we’ve had support from all around Michigan and all over the Midwest…Hockey’s a twelve month thing here…”

In addition to the money for renovations, the Arena will also get to host a NHL pre-season game next year between the Carolina Hurricane and the Buffalo Sabres.

The Lakeview Arena also hosts the annual ‘Pasty Drop’ every year to ring in the New Year. A giant meat pie is lowered down from the rafters.

Many people may not know this, but the Upper Peninsula is the birthplace of professional hockey. A team from Portage Lake near Houghton was the first team to get paid for playing the sport back in 1902.

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