Great Lakes Invitational contract extended three more years

The Great Lakes Invitational will live on through the 2014 tournament, according to a press release issued Monday from Michigan Tech.

Michigan Tech and Olympia Entertainment have extended their partnership in hosting the GLI through 2014, which will be the tournament’s 50th annual event.

“We’re thrilled to be able to continue the tradition of the GLI,” said Michigan Tech athletic director Suzanne Sanregret in a statement. “It’s been one of the most successful tournaments in the country and we look forward to an on-going partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Michigan and Michigan State. The event has been a great way for us to keep a presence in lower Michigan and connect with our alumni and fans. It’s important that we continue what we’ve built up over the years and showcase college hockey in Detroit.”

The 2012 event will be played outdoors at Comerica Park Dec. 27-28 as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival and in connection with the NHL’s annual Winter Classic. The 2013 and 2014 editions will be played at Joe Louis Arena, home of 33 of the previous 47 GLIs.

The GLI was first played in 1965 after the idea for the tournament was conceived and implemented by Michigan Tech coach John MacInnes, Olympia Stadium GM Lincoln Cavalieri and Detroit Red Wings’ scout Jack Paterson. The tournament, which has been played in late December every year, has had more than 1.3 million fans in attendance since its inception.

Michigan Tech has won the GLI nine times in 47 appearances. Michigan has competed in 42 GLIs and has claimed 15 titles. Michigan State owns 12 GLI crowns in 38 tries.

Western Michigan will join the three GLI mainstays for the 2012 outdoor event. The Broncos will also be the invitational team in 2014, while Denver will take part in the 2013 tournament.

Tickets for this year’s outdoor GLI will go on sale through Olympia Entertainment on July 12.