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Hockey Day site beginning to take shape

BEMIDJI -- At the moment it may only appear to be a pile of dirt, but a site on Lake Bemidji's south shore will soon become much more in the months ahead.

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Construction has begun on the site of the rink that will host Hockey Day Minnesota 2019. The outdoor rink will be situated west of the Sanford Center near the Central Avenue roundabout. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI -- At the moment it may only appear to be a pile of dirt, but a site on Lake Bemidji’s south shore will soon become much more in the months ahead.

Construction began Wednesday on the site of the rink that will host Hockey Day Minnesota 2019. The outdoor rink will be situated west of the Sanford Center on a plot of land near the Central Avenue roundabout.

Event organizer Brian Bissonnette said the goal is to complete logistical work on the site by around mid-October before the ground freezes.

“It’s certainly going to be a process because the lots needed to be levelled out in order for us to be able to put the rink down, as well as the hockey village area,” Bissonette said. “And so we anticipate that they will be certainly working down on the site for the next couple of months. Not only do they have to, of course, get the grounds ready, but there’s going to be power and utility work being done to bring in to make sure that we can light it all up and have all the essentials, from internet to television service, and everything utility-wise as well.”

The date of Hockey Day Minnesota 2019, as well as the teams that will play in the event, will be announced Sunday, July 1, in an 11 a.m. ceremony on the Lake Bemidji waterfront. The public is welcome to attend.

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Players from each of the 10 participating teams will be on hand, as will representatives from the Minnesota Wild, local dignitaries and participating coaches.

Following the announcement ceremony, Wild mascot, Nordy, will be the grand marshal of the Bemidji Jaycees Water Carnival parade at 1 p.m. He will be joined in the parade by Fox Sports North reporter Kevin Gorg and representatives from the participating teams and the Hockey Day Minnesota Bemidji local organizing committee.

Austin Monteith is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of Bloomington, Ill., he is a 2015 graduate of Butler University. Follow him on Twitter at @amonteith92. Contact the Pioneer sports department at sports@bemidjipioneer.com.
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