EAGLE RIVER, Wis. (WAOW) — A watch party was held on Sunday at the Eagle River Hockey Dome.
Dozens of members from the Eagle River community and surrounding communities came together to watch the announcement of the Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019 winner after the second period of the New York Rangers and the Philadelphia Flyers hockey game.
“This activity has brought everyone together,” said Kim Emerson, Executive Director of the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce. “Our rink is a center focal point of our community and when you can get everybody together to support something special it really makes the entire community a great place to be.”
According to the Eagle River Chamber of Commerce the dome, built in 1933, is only one of three wooden domes left in the nation. The dome is also in need of immediate renovations or else it could be forced to close its doors for good.
“The ice plant that we have needs to be replaced and that makes the ice for not only the dome but also the cube,” Natalie Spiess, Eagle River Recreation Association Board Member said. “So if we don’t have an ice plant we don’t have ice, and we don’t have hockey, and we don’t have figure skating. That’s very important to this community.”
Eagle River finished second in the contest, but they still received $30,000 in rink upgrades and $10,000 in new equipment. The chamber of commerce said the Eagle River Dome still needs donations to reach the $1.5 million needed for renovations.
“It’s disappointing,” Eagle River community member Steve Silber said. “Of course it is but just to be nominated with the four top cities is an honor in itself.”
The winner, Calumet, Michigan received $150,000 and the opportunity to host a preseason NHL Hockey game.