Help Vote Pullar Stadium as Kraft Hockeyville, USA

Pullar GroupFor more than 75 years, hockey players in Michigan have heralded Sault Ste. Marie’s Pullar Stadium as a standout ice arena. The Pullar was recently selected as a Top 10 Finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville, USA contest. The top rink will take home the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA, $150,000 for the stadium, and a preseason NHL game. The rink was selected based on an essay submitted by a local player, Ron Maleport, who’s been skating at the Pullar since the 1960’s. Pullar Stadium was the only arena in Michigan selected as a finalist.

Built in 1939 the Pullar Community Building (Pullar) was considered “state of the art” with artificial ice providing year round skating. The Pullar is home to the Hiawatha Skating Club established in 1941 and has been used for big bands, teen dances, as a roller rink, and is still being used for visiting circuses, but above all hockey. Pullar ice has been home to decades of local kids and hockey greats.

During WWII Sault Saint Marie’s Soo Locks were heavily guarded due to the importance of materials that were being brought down for the war effort. The Pullar was a temporary home to the overflow of soldiers that couldn’t be lodged at local Fort Brady. Giant barrage balloons, used to hover over the locks, were also housed in the Pullar alongside the bunks of the soldiers.

Jack Adams

Hockey legend Jack Adams and his Red Wings trained on the summer ice at the Pullar from 1948-1958. Players were so fond of the rink and the hospitality of the Sault Ste. Marie community the Wings dubbed the Sault “Hockeytown”. To this day the community proudly wears the badge of The Original Hockeytown.

The Pullar has been an integral part of this community for over seven decades. Generations of skaters have watched as their kids and grandkids grew up on the ice, building skills and confidence. The Pullar has meant so much too so many and Sault Ste. Marie wants to make sure this important part of the community is here for future generations.

Fun Facts about the Pullar Stadium

  • Originally cost $180,000 to build this “state of the art” ice rink
  • One of the oldest artificial ice rinks with continued use in the U.S.
  • In the early days the Pullar was one of the few rinks in the world to have summer ice
  • Greats such as Gordie Howe, Ted Lindasy, Sid Abel, and Alex Delvecchio skated at the Pullar
  • Home of the Soo High Blue Devils hockey team
  • Lake Superior (College) State University’s  Laker men’s hockey team played at the Pullar but are now at the Clarence John “Taffy” Abel Arena
  • Soo Eagles Junior A Hockey team call the Pullar home ice since 1962

Sault Ste. Marie and the Pullar need your help taking the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA.

Cast your votes three ways:

a) Visit www.krafthockeyville.com, click on Pullar Stadium and follow the instructions.

b) Text PULLAR to 35350 to vote (combination of 50 texts & calls per cellular device) message and data rates may apply

c) Call 1-855-255-5975 and select 3 to vote for the Pullar

You can vote up to 50 times per each method each day for up to 150 votes each day. Voting Phase II ends at midnight April 22. If the Pullar receives enough votes to be top in it’s category, it will be one of two finalists to move on to the final voting stage, which is held April 27-29.

3 Things to Know about Ann Arbor and the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic

Are you heading to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor on New Year’s Day? Laura Berarducci from Visit Ann Arbor brings us a few know-before-you-go tips for enjoying the event.

Photo courtesy of Visit Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor is no stranger to thousands of sports fans converging at the corner of Stadium and Main Street to cheer as their team battles within The Big House.  However, New Year’s Day will bring a host of different fans — and a sea of red and white will be welcome in Wolverine territory as the Detroit Red Wings face off against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

Many are anticipating that the game will set a new world record for attendance at a hockey game. The previous record was set in 2010 between University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Michigan Stadium. There are also hopes of breaking the Big House attendance record of 115,109 set this year during the night game against Notre Dame.

For those coming to town, here are three key things you may want to know about Ann Arbor and the event to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible.

#1: More than Just Hockey

Coming to town early or staying an extra night? Perhaps you are accompanying a hockey fan to town but aren’t going to the game. Regardless, Ann Arbor has plenty to do leading up to, during, and after the game. A number of businesses are extending their hours and remaining open on New Year’s Day. Check back often as the list is updated weekly. Go to VisitAnnArbor.org for more information about the vibrant, walkable downtown area and a full listing of dining, shopping, and attractions.

#2: New Year’s Eve Ball Drop

The NHL is working closely with the City of Detroit and The Detroit Red Wings to offer an array of events in Detroit to help commemorate the occasion. However, those not heading east for New Year’s Eve should join the “The Puck Drops Here” street party taking place along Main Street in Downtown Ann Arbor from 8 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. Headlining the event is Michelle Chamuel, runner-up on NBC’s ‘The Voice’ last season. The grand finale will be the midnight countdown as we lower a 10-foot puck lit with 6,000 LED lights designed and fabricated by local artists. More information is available at VisitAnnArbor.org.

#3: Game Day Specifics

109,901 fans in a city with a population around 114,000? Even with a majority of the University of Michigan students heading home for the holidays, knowing how to get in and around the city is going to make the experience much smoother. Complete details including an area map, road closures, and fan guide are available at nhl.com/winterclassic.

  • Photo courtesy of the NHL

    Buses and Shuttles: The NHL is coordinating a school bus shuttle system from designated areas to the stadium from 9am-noon and then again after the game. On game day, Winter Classic Shuttle wristbands can be purchased at participating hotels and from attendants at designated parking lots. Click here for a complete list of routes and more information.

  • Parking: Check the Shuttle Routes to take advantage of the Park & Ride lots that will be operating on New Year’s Day. You may also park in any of the Downtown Ann Arbor parking garages for the set special event price of $5. Pioneer High School will be open for anyone tailgating before the game, but the golf courses will be closed. More parking details are available here.
  • The Big House: In order to ensure you make it into the game you must observe the strict no bag policy. This includes all bags, backpacks, purses, camera and binocular cases, etc. Click here for a complete list of prohibited items.

Laura Berarducci is the Director of Marketing for the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau and has been an Ann Arbor resident for more than 30 years. She attended both record-setting games mentioned above and plans to keep her own record intact by cheering on the Detroit Red Wings at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. It will be the only time she wears red in the Big House. For more information about Ann Arbor and the New Year’s Events, check out www.VisitAnnArbor.org