LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) — Young hockey players from different states traveled to Lexington for the Big Bear Tournament. It’s big, not just for Lexington but youth hockey as a whole.
It was a big day for the Lexington Ice Center, being part of the Big Bear Tournament. Teams from more than five states came to compete, and it drew in a big crowd of fans. Todd Rogers is the Big Bear Tournament director, and he’s had his eye on Lexington for quite a while.
“Lexington is a place we’ve been wanting to come to for quite a while. We have a lot of tournaments in this area, including Louisville, over in Evansville, up in Oxford, and we’ll have them down in Knoxville as well. Just the proximity to a lot of hockey locations here in the Midwest midsouth region, growing markets, we have two sheets of ice here so we can really pack in the teams and have a good nice long weekend tournament,” Rogers said.
The tournament brought in players and family from places like Chicago for example, meaning these visitors are getting a good look at what Lexington has to offer. Ian Vacek came from Chicago to watch his son play in the tournament.
“It’s awesome being down here. This is the first time we’ve been to Kentucky and Lexington for a Hockey tournament. Usually we’re going to Indiana, Wisconsin, or Minnesota but it’s been very cool. Everyone has been great down here; the Ice Center is awesome,” Vacek said.
Ryan May is the president of the Central Kentucky Hockey Association. May said the Lexington Ice Center hosting this tournament is a great way to build even more interest in youth hockey.
“Having these youth organizations come from all over the country to participate in hockey in Lexington has been ideal for us. It gives our youth an opportunity to watch some high-level hockey,” May said.
With a good crowd of fans, it’s a good sign for the growth of youth hockey organizations.
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“Hockey right now may not be the fastest growing sport in the country, but it is growing, especially here in Kentucky,” Rogers said.