ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Warroad lands Hockey Day Minnesota for 2024

The annual one-day celebration of hockey in the state will be coming to one of the northernmost communities in the state in early 2024, as officials from the Minnesota Wild announced the awarding of Hockey Day Minnesota to Hockeytown USA.

Warroad Water Tower.jpg
The water tower in Warroad, Minn., which has been nicknamed "Hockeytown USA" since the late 1950s, features crossed hockey sticks.
Contributed / Visit Warroad
We are part of The Trust Project.

WARROAD, Minn. – Known as “Hockeytown USA” for more than 60 years, the hockey-crazy community of Warroad will be the epicenter of the State of Hockey for a winter weekend in 2024.

Just minutes before the shotgun start of the annual Warroad Celebrity Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 30, officials from Bally Sports North announced that Warroad will host Hockey Day Minnesota for the first time.

“We’ve been waiting a long time to be able to host Hockey Day Minnesota in Warroad, otherwise known as the real Hockeytown USA,” said Tad Palmquist, Hockey Day Minnesota 2024 Local Organizing Committee co-chair, in a statement released by the Minnesota Wild. “As a small community of 1,800 people located near the Canadian border, Warroad and the surrounding area has an impressive hockey legacy. We are excited to showcase how we live life on the ice during HDM 2024 to the entire State of Hockey.”

The event will take place over a winter 2024 weekend to be announced. The games are expected to be played at an outdoor rink that will be constructed with a view of Warroad’s iconic water tower, which features crossed hockey sticks. Warroad (population 1,830) is the hometown of seven U.S. Olympic hockey players — four of them gold medal winners — and two current NHL players.

In 2022, Warroad's high school girls team won the state title while the boys finished as state runner-up.

ADVERTISEMENT

jea 1105 Warroad vs Minneapolis BH.jpg
Minneapolis goalie Alex Lamont (31) deflects a shot from Warroad forward Matthew Hard (18) in the second period in a boys hockey game during Hockey Day Minnesota at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis on Jan. 18, 2020. Warroad beat Minneapolis, 5-1. (John Autey / The Rink Live)

One of those current NHLers, Washington Capitals star T.J. Oshie, was on hand for the announcement, just hours before his number 19 jersey was retired by Warroad High School. Oshie was a key player on the Warriors’ 2003 and 2005 Minnesota state title teams.

Hockey Day Minnesota, which was first held in 2007 roughly 40 minutes down Highway 11 in Baudette, is a day-long celebration of the sport in the state, featuring outdoor hockey games in the morning and afternoon, and culminating with a Minnesota Wild game in the evening. Warroad, which sits just six miles from the Canadian border, will be the northernmost community to host the event.

The full schedule of games will be announced at a later date, but there was immediate speculation that Warroad and long-time arch rival Roseau could meet on the outdoor rink. Both the Warriors and Rams have participated in Hockey Day Minnesota in the past. Roseau beat Blaine 1-0 in 2008 in Baudette, in a game played under frigid conditions, with the temperature and wind chill well below zero. In 2020 Warroad defeated host Minneapolis 5-1 on an outdoor rink with a view of the skyscrapers of Minnesota’s biggest city.

Warroad vs Proctor-Hermantown_0810.jpg
Warroad celebrates their win over against Proctor/Hermantown in the State Class A Tournament Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

Warroad is the home of Marvin, one of the nation’s largest manufacturers of windows and doors, and local officials noted that the company will have a prominent sponsorship role in the event. Christian Brothers, a hockey stick brand, was founded in Warroad and operated there for more than 40 years before the brand name was sold.

Earlier in 2022, Mankato became the first southern Minnesota community to host Hockey Day Minnesota, with more than 10,000 fans filling the football stadium at Minnesota State Mankato for a men’s game between the host Mavericks and St. Thomas. The 2023 event will be held in White Bear Township, just north of St. Paul.

Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
What to read next
Elle Bush, a 2022 graduate of Bemidji High School and a two-year varsity starter on the BHS girls soccer team, committed to the Northwestern women’s soccer program on Tuesday during a signing ceremony at the high school.
The Prep Bowl was held the weekend before Thanksgiving at the ends of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, when the title games were held outdoors on the University of Minnesota campus.
For the past four years, Jerry Phillips (BHS class of 1964) and Larry Higgins (1961) have invited interested BHS athletes from the 1960s to get together and reminisce about the heydays of BHS basketball and other highlights of their high school careers.