For 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.
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.