AP NEWS

Amateur Update: Another busy youth hockey season is beginning

December 6, 2017 GMT

Starting last weekend, and with the exception of the holiday weekends, Rochester Youth Hockey will have hockey tournaments running out at Graham Arena each weekend in December and January.

These tournaments, along with the ice time required by the high school hockey teams, creates a facility in high demand for several months.

Minnesota is known as “the state of hockey.” We do not have to look any further than our own city in finding a place that exemplifies this slogan. This year Rochester Youth Hockey is in the middle of hosting eight weekends of tournaments, including a total of over 112 participating teams. In addition to running their own tournaments, RYHA will also be hosting the Youth Hockey Hub Founders Day Cup, bringing 24 PeeWee teams to Graham Arena the first weekend in January.

Organizing these tournaments starts in late summer and takes a significant amount of planning.

While RYHA and its players’ parents put a lot of work into these events, the home tournaments do allow families to take a break from traveling.

RYHA tournament coordinator Rob Cothern also realizes the importance of running home tournaments.

“One of the great things about hosting numerous tournaments is it gives our Rochester hockey families the opportunity to stay at home for a weekend and play some hockey games,” he said. “It is fun to have other teams from all over come to Rochester and see what we have to offer in regards to putting on a tournament.

“In most cases, teams travel from the metro area or even further to participate. This year teams came from places as far away as Sioux Falls and Des Moines.

“Having teams that travel from a significant distance creates a win/win scenario for our city and the tournament itself. Giving our kids the chance to play teams they wouldn’t normally compete against on their weekly schedule promotes growth and development of all the players in the program.”

The city of Rochester also benefits from hosting these out-of-town teams as competitors and their families patronize our hotels, restaurants and other local businesses.

This year youth hockey tournaments are projected to occupy nearly 2,300 hotel rooms and generate an estimated $1.5 million in economic impact.

So as another hockey season is upon us, the future of Rochester hockey looks busier and brighter than ever!

Upcoming events:

Dec. 8-10: RYHA PeeWee B Hockey Tournament

Dec. 8-10: Rochester Swim Club Bad Birthday Championship Meet