The City of Chesterfield will place host to a major college hockey tournament this spring hosted by the St. Louis University hockey team.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported yesterday that the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Division II championship tournament will take place starting March 14 at the Hardee’s Iceplex in Chesterfield.
The 27-game round-robin tournament will feature 16 top teams and will be directed by SLU head coach Todd Ewen. Hockey fans can also check out a face-off between an ACHA all-stars squad and a St. Louis Blues alumni team on March 17 as part of the event.
The event could also mean good things for the local economy. Iceplex General Manager Lloyd Ney said he estimates it will bring 800 visitors to the area and generate about $350,000-500,000 in economic activity.
Since the event hasn't happened before, Ney said it's hard to give exact figures, so his estimate is based on similar sized events in the past. The attendance number is a combination of the 400 players that will attend and another 400 in parents, support staff and other interested visitors.
Chesterfield Development Director Libbey Tucker also touted the tournament's benefit for Chesterfield and the larger metro area.
"They will fill up our hotels, participants will stay in neighboring cities and see and do other things in the region while they are here," she said. "The influx of spending into Chesterfield’s restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues is tremendous."
Ney credited the St. Louis University hockey team with helping to lure the competition to the area and said the Iceplex was a good fit with its proximity to hotels and restaurants.
"We see our facility as were amateur hockey events take place in St. Louis," he said.
And the ACHA tournament isn't even the biggest of these. Ney said youth tournaments later in the year will draw 60-80 teams at a time.