The Calumet Colosseum will soon be receiving some renovations thanks to a national contest, although the extent of those repairs will not be known until next week.
The oldest indoor ice rink has been named one of four finalists in Kraft’s Hockeyville USA contest, securing a minimum prize of $10,000, and a one in four shot at $150,000.
Nearly two months of community support has gained the iconic Calumet venue the attention of contest judges. “This year, we were fortunate enough where the stories submitted were strong, good stories that put us in the final four,” said John Carroll of the Calumet Hockey Association.
Hockey fans across the country have been submitting memoirs of their favorite ice rink since this year’s contest began, and after months of reviewing every story, judges have narrowed the odds down to four that voters will chose a winner from this coming weekend.
Carroll said, “If not for the stories, the photos, and the videos that were submitted, we would not have gotten here. Really it’s an effort that goes far beyond just Calumet. We’re very appreciative of all that support throughout the Upper Peninsula.”
All of the finalists will receive at least $10,000 for upgrades, and if the Colosseum were to win the grand prize of $150,000, there are many things that the money would be used for, including a new ice plant.
“We have a Freon system now and eventually that’s going to have to be changed,” said Carroll. “There are things like that, the dehumidifier—with a facility like this there are always things that need to be done, things that need to be upgraded. That never ends. We hope that we’re fortunate enough to win the $150,000 and continue making improvements.”
Competition amongst the venues will be tough, as all four are located in the Midwest. “We’re from a small area, population wise. The rink in Cadillac, a lot more people are down there so they may see some more support that way. The rink in Eagle River is a historic building as well. The other rink is in Minnesota. I’m sure they’ll have a lot of people in Minnesota supporting them. It’s going to be challenging for the Colosseum, but we think we have a good story to tell. It’s the oldest indoor hockey rink in the world, and it’s been continuously operating as an ice rink since it was built in 1913,” Carroll said.
Online contest voting opens Saturday morning at 7:00am and goes until 11:00 am on Sunday. “So basically 28 hours of voting,” Carroll said. “People can go to www.krafthockeyville.com and you can vote as often as you can. Vote early, vote often, every vote will be appreciated. Get out there, get on the computer and wear those fingers out.”