Representatives from the NHL

Representatives from the NHL

Arenas draw scrutiny for NHL game

NHL, Sportsnet, Kraft and NHLPA officials were in the area Thursday to determine the site of the Oct. 2 game

There’s a hat trick of options for the big game but Lumby’s mayor is confident his community will be well looked after no matter the choice.

Representatives from the National Hockey League, NHL Players Association, Sportsnet and Kraft toured Lumby’s Pat Duke Memorial Arena, Vernon’s Kal Tire Place and Kelowna’s Prospera Place Thursday to determine where the Oct. 2 Kraft Hockeville game will be located.

“They have Lumby’s best interest at heart,” said Mayor Kevin Acton, who was part of the tour of Pat Duke, as well as discussions Friday.

“It’s all about Lumby and what the spirit of the community is.”

The tour of the three facilities included looking at seating, the physical plant, player comfort and the ability to handle a television crew.

“They were asking questions and taking photographs,” said Angie Clowry, Lumby Hockeyville co-ordinator, adding that the talks also revolved around activities beyond the on-ice action.

“They want to link everything to Lumby. That is the priority. No matter where the game is played, there will be events in Lumby.”

Acton says he was impressed with the tone of the discussions Friday.

“They’re hear to find out what we want. They’re not telling us,” he said.

A decision on where the pre-season Edmonton Oilers/L.A. Kings game is held could be announced in June.

As part of the discussion, Acton emphasized Lumby’s bond with the North Okanagan.

“There is a real connection to Vernon and the surrounding area. We’re talking about a social connection between the communities,” he said.

Representatives from the NHL, Sportsnet and Kraft directed media questions to Clowry and Acton, but stated they were enjoying their visit to the Okanagan.

As part of winning the Kraft Hockeyville title, Lumby is receiving $100,000 for upgrades to Pat Duke Memorial Arena.