Kraft Hockeyville game to be played in Summerside
O'Leary will host Kraft Hockeyville events leading up to the game
The pre-season NHL game to be hosted by O'Leary, P.E.I. as part of the Kraft Hockeyville competition, will be played at Credit Union Place in Summerside, P.E.I.
O'Leary was announced as the winner on April 1 by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
As part of the victory, the O'Leary Community Sports Centre will receive $100,000 for upgrades to the arena.
The other part of the prize is the pre-season game, to be played between the Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils on Sept. 25.
"We looked at all possible options for the game once O'Leary was announced the winner to just ensure that there's the best possible experience for O'Leary as the winning community," said Linda Ferrandini, senior marketing manager for Kraft Heinz Canada.
"Not hosting the game, I think it was a win-win situation," said Della Sweet, a member of the O'Leary Hockeyville committee.
"If it was hosted in O'Leary it was going to be, you know, pretty exciting to be in our little rink and all that part of it."
But Sweet said that with the game being played at Credit Union Place, more tickets will be available which means more people will be able to enjoy the prize.
"We kind of had our fingers crossed for a little bit just to have that little hometown kick to it. But we're so excited it's going to be in Summerside, a great facility, the people are wonderful to work with," she said.
Ferrandini said that the arena's size wasn't a factor in the decision, citing other rules in the contest surrounding transportation for the teams, artificial ice quality and the NHL and NHLPA official standards.
"People are so excited about the game."
O'Leary will still play host to a variety of Kraft Hockeyville events the day before the game.
Sweet said Sept. 24 will be "celebration day" with kids events, adding it will be a "fun family day."
Ferrandini said that it will be up to the O'Leary organizing committee to distribute tickets for the practice and game to be held at Credit Union Place, and that they will work with Kraft Heinz Canada to figure out what kinds of events O'Leary will host on Sept. 24.
She added that the past two winners of the competition hosted their games in nearby communities and it didn't take away from the event.
"The experience and the celebrations have been amazing, I've witnesses them first hand."
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Making the grade: 87-year-old P.E.I. man still working full time
- MORE P.E.I. NEWS | Namaste World website shows life from an immigrant's perspective
With files from CBC: Island Morning