USA Hockey Championships bring $1 million boost to local economy

By Millaine Wells, Local 5 News

Published 04/02 2014 03:38PM

Updated 04/02 2014 07:35PM

ASHWAUBENON, (Wis.) - WFRV - The best youth hockey players in the nation are in our area this week.

They Are facing off in the USA Hockey National Championships.          

"These are the best of the best for youth hockey, so this is the big championship of the year for USA hockey" says Don Chilson Manager of the Cornerstone Community Center.

The future stars of the NHL and Olympic hockey teams will likely come from this elite group.

"We are really kind of becoming a Mecca for youth hockey" says a proud Brad Toll with the Greater Green Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Of the 1200 players participating 10 of them are from our local community.

48 teams from 18 states will play more than 90 games this week.

"The sport of hockey has grown phenomenally. It is a fast paced, high energy sport, it creates a lot of comrade among the players and a team atmosphere" says Mike Trimboli, Director for USA Hockey.

In addition to bragging rights these teens are showing off for the scouts who will decide their future.

"Every important agent in the world of hockey is here. It is pretty neat to have this in this community" says Derek Lalonde, Head Coach of the Green Bay Gamblers.

The greater Green Bay area has bid on this tournament for at least five years.

"It has been been lot of work, 400 volunteers who put this whole thing together" Chilson says.

The fan base is made largely of family members who are willing to drive the distance - to support their players.

The parking lot at the Cornerstone is full of license plates stretching from Connecticut to California.

"If they leave and say we had a great time, hockey is great in Green Bay, that certainly will help us down the road attract more tournaments into the area" Toll explains.

The five day championship is expected to drop more than $1 million into our local economy.

"You cannot get a hotel room in town right now. We have them completely filled" Chilson says.

Tickets for the tournament are available at the door. The event runs through Sunday.

Find more details here 

Copyright Copyright 2014 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.