Organizers to Consider New Date for Pond Hockey Tournament
Ice has yet to form on the canals where the inaugural Nautical Mile Pond Hockey Winter Classic will be played, prompting organizers to consider a weekend in early February for the event.
The recent string of warm weather days has led organizers of the inaugural Nautical Mile Pond Hockey Winter Classic to consider rescheduling the event for early February.
And with the original dates of Jan. 20, 21 and 22, approaching, organizers are considering an alternative date.
"There is quite a buzz about this tournament and bringing people into St. Clair Shores," said Greg Esler, St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation director, who is putting safety first with considering a new date. "We certainly are not going to put pond hockey players on the ice if it is not safe."
An alternative weekend of Feb. 10, 11 and 12, will be considered during a meeting Thursday by organizers - which include parks and recreation officials, members of the St. Clair Shores Hockey Association and representatives from Brownies on the Lake.
Ice for the tournament needs to be four inches thick for skaters and six inches for machines. Currently there is no ice on the canals.
While the lack of ice is a concern for organizers, it has not reduced the interest in the tournament.
The tournament has 64 teams, with 95 percent of the teams coming from within a 25 mile radius of the city. There are also 32 teams on the waiting list.
"People want to get out of the house," said Esler, of the popularity of the tournament.
In addition to strong interest among participants, sponsors have continued to support the event.
Recent sponsors including Avion Tequila, the Roseville Microtel and Consumers Energy, have joined others including Brownies, Pepsi, Budweiser, Henry Ford Health System, Superior Ambulance and Nautical Mile merchants.
"It is government and business working together," Esler said.
Despite the weather concerns this year, Esler said organizers hope to expand the event to more teams, chili competition, ice carving and fireworks.