Sylvan Lake wins Kraft Hockeyville 2014
Town to host 2014-2015 pre-season game
Sylvan Lake has won the coveted title of Kraft Hockeyville 2014, defeating Kingston N.S. by just 108,164 votes.
Gary Bettman, commissioner of the NHL, made the announcement live during Saturday night's broadcast.
Sylvan Lake was already guaranteed $100,000 for making it to the final two, beating out seven other community arenas in western Canada in the public voting stage.
As winner, the central Alberta town will play host as the Calgary Flames take on the Phoenix Coyotes on Sept 24.
Nearly 16 million votes were cast in this year's Hockeyville race, which saw a record number of communities entering the competition.
This year's edition of the annual contest took on an East vs. West theme, with a total of 532 communities vying to be called Kraft Hockeyville this year.
The Eastern Canada community finalist, Kingston, N.S., will also receive $100,000 for arena upgrades to its Credit Union Centre.
Councillor Graham Parsons of Sylvan Lake says there are many people to thank for the honour.
“Words aren't enough,” he said Saturday before the announcement. “I mean, three weekends in a row of voting and you had to garner so many votes and you could vote as many times as you want and you key in a four letter code that changed each time a pushed the votes. Some people people voted 5,000 times a day."
The future was not looking so rosy for the town in January when its old arena collapsed under the weight of a heavy snowfall.