For the Love of Hockey

Kraft Hockeyville can help rebuild the Tucker Road Ice Rink
Kraft Hockeyville can help rebuild the Tucker Road Ice Rink
Courtesy of Google Images

At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4, a fire broke out at the Tucker Road Ice Rink in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The flames were caused by an electrical failure in the ceiling and led to damages to the ice surface and the surrounding devices. Fortunately, no fatalities or injuries occurred and the fire department successfully suppressed the fire before more damage to the building was done.

The pressing issue now is the future of the rink and the cost of restoring the ice surface. A meeting was held on January 9 to discuss the damages and estimate the cost. The rink ownership has estimated that the cost of restoring the ice surface and the electrical system will be about $500,000. For a rink that does not receive nearly the amount of attendance as Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the Washington Capitals practice facility in the Ballston Common Mall, sufficient funding may need to come from another source.

Every offseason, the National Hockey League (NHL) partners with Kraft Foods to assist small communities in restoring local ice rinks. The project is called Kraft Hockeyville, which began in 2006 as a small organization in Canada. In 2007, the project crossed the border into the United States and it has only continued to grow. In 2015, the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) Sports presented an advertisement covering all the details and benefits provided by Kraft Hockeyville. Included in the package is 150,000 dollars in arena upgrades and the opportunity to host an NHL preseason game to the winning rink.

How can people spread awareness about Kraft Hockeyville? Social media has become such an apparent feature in modern lifestyle and is a great way to raise awareness for the program. Those interested can also head to to find more information about nominating and scrolling through the list of previously nominated arenas.

Many hockey players at Yorktown and all across Arlington have been affected by the damages to Tucker Road. Yorktown hockey player, Rhett Styles, is one of many hockey players from the D.C. area that has been affected by the recent fire at the rink. Styles has been playing travel hockey with the Northern Virginia Ice Dogs for five seasons and has spent countless hours at Tucker Road.

“The fire at the rink has forced the team to cancel some practices and games which really affects our schedule going forward,” Styles said.

Styles also believes that Arlingtonians play an important role in restoring the rink.

“It would be nice for people around here to all pitch in a little donation to get the project going and it would be great for hockey players to see an NHL game on the ice they often play on,” Styles said.

Athletes often overlook the details in life that have taken them so far. I have spent countless hours at the Tucker Road Ice Rink and feel personally responsible to give back to the staff and the building itself. Not only will Kraft Hockeyville provide a much needed financial boost, but it will also strengthen struggling community.

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