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An ideal place to play hockey

The Denfeld Hunters are among the teams at Hockey Day Minnesota. (Photo by Clint Austin, Duluth News Tribune)

The 10th annual Hockey Day Minnesota this weekend is the event's finest, boldest and most picturesque. I can readily make this statement because the host for this year's Hockey Day is our beloved City of Duluth.

I applaud Fox Sports North for selecting Duluth as the place to celebrate the sport of hockey. Their decision makes sense because Duluth has embraced organized outdoor hockey since the 1890s.

Duluth has a rich hockey tradition that generated statewide enthusiasm for having Hockey Day Minnesota 2016 in our Zenith City on the hill. What other Minnesota city hosted hockey games on the ice cover of the greatest of the Great Lakes? What other Minnesota city built a massive brick and stone structure in 1912 to house 12 curling rinks on the first floor and a hockey arena on the second floor? Our Duluth Curling Club was the predecessor to the grand hockey arenas of today.

Duluth was established in 1856. It became a city in 1870. Its colorful history will provide ample material for every intermission of every game televised as a part of Hockey Day Minnesota.

Duluth is enjoying a nationally recognized renewal. It is an inspiring and heartwarming story of a community that rose from the ashes of hard economic times. Our community is a model for the revitalization of an industrial, blue-collar town. More compelling still is how our community supported the sport of hockey throughout the most challenging of these economic times.

We are a community that comes together around our love for hockey. We enjoy a collaborative environment wherein business leaders join hands and hearts with civic leaders and youth hockey leaders to move our hockey community forward. Hockey Day organizers will witness this powerful collaborative effort while we proudly host a day dedicated to celebrating a sport that is so much a part of our collective past.

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce is 1,140 members strong. We have been lifting up our beloved community since 1870. Our members have actively supported youth hockey since it began in the late 1890s.

Congratulations to the volunteers who convinced Fox Sports North to choose Duluth as the site of the celebration. Congratulations as well to the many volunteers who are hosting the thousands of visitors who enjoy this ideal place to play hockey.

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751 or dross@duluthchamber.com.

David Ross

David Ross is the president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce. Contact him at 740-3751.

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