Plans begin for Lumby Hockeyville game

Kraft Hockeyville winning community to host match between Edmonton Oilers and LA Kings.

The hard work is starting now that Lumby has been declared Kraft Hockeyville.

With an overflowing crowd at Pat Duke Memorial Arena watching the televised announcement Saturday, the village rose to the top over Saint-Isidore, Que.

“It was so surreal and so exciting,” said Angie Clowry, bid organizer.

But with the celebration now wrapped up, planning for the Oct. 2 pre-season National Hockey League game begins.

Organizing will include the NHL, the NHL Players Association, Kraft and Sportsnet.

“They will tour our local facilities and make a decision on the best place to hold the event,” said Clowry.

“It could very well be held at Pat Duke in Lumby or Kal Tire Place in Vernon.  No decision has been made.”

Mayor Kevin Acton isn’t concerned about where the game will be held.

“They (NHL, Kraft, etc.) will do what’s best for Lumby,” he said.

“If that means in Lumby or wherever, that decision will be made.”

Another factor to be determined is how tickets will be distributed.

“Minor hockey kids will be the first in and the coaches,” said Clowry.

Acton admits residents will want to know all the details about the game.

“There are a lot of expectations to meet.”

One thing known for sure, though, is the game will feature the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings.

“We’re thrilled to have that level of talent here,” said Clowry.

The village will also be considering ways to capitalize on the national exposure the hockey game will bring.

“We want to show Lumby as the place to be,” he said.

Lumby’s journey to Kraft Hockeyville supremacy included the initial nominations and then making it into the top 10. It was then shortlisted into the final two. Mass voting was required for each stage of the process.

“Every vote, every person, was incredible,” said Clowry.

“There are so many people to thank but we’re not done yet. There was a core group involved and we will be working right until the Oct. 2 game.”

A bond has also been formed between Lumby and Saint-Isidore.

“They were an excellent contender. All of the top 10 communities put a huge effort into this,” said Clowry.

Both Lumby and Saint-Isidore have received $100,000 for arena improvements.