There’s a reason we’re known as the State of Hockey—you’d be hard-pressed to find a Minnesotan who hasn’t worn a pair of skates on their feet. There’s also a reason that this weekend Minneapolis is being called “Hockeyapolis,” as one new event and one favorite are taking the ice in the city.
The University of Minnesota’s football field at TCF Bank Stadium has been transformed into an outdoor rink in preparation for the Hockey City Classic, a college hockey doubleheader taking place this Friday. In the afternoon, watch the U of M’s women’s team take on Minnesota State, then at night, the men’s teams versus their Big 10 rival, Ohio State. Not only will the games be super fun to watch, but they’re also kind of a big deal—it’s the first time Minnesota has hosted an outdoor college game in more than eight decades. And don’t worry about getting too chilly, across the street Mariucci Arena will be open as a warming house (2-8 p.m.), with food and drinks for sale and the games broadcast on the video board. Tickets start at $15 and are valid for both games.
Also starting on Friday but lasting throughout the weekend is the 9th annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, which caters to our nostalgia of how hockey originally was played—outside on a lake. Over the course of the weekend hundreds of teams will play on Lake Nokomis, with players ranging from former NHLers and high school greats to neighborhood lovers of the game. A total of six divisions compete, some for medals, some for the silver scoop, others for the highly coveted golden shovel. (The shovel has quite a backstory.) For spectators, there will be warming house tents, a family skating rink, beer garden, food from Famous Dave’s, and other fun activities.