The four-team tournament will feature Arizona State, Boston College, Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan.
“Las Vegas is quickly transforming from a purely entertainment mecca to one of the world’s destination locations for sports as well,” said bd Global president Brooks Downing in a statement. “We are excited to partner with T-Mobile Arena to bring the best teams in college hockey to Las Vegas each year as the new era of hockey in the Valley begins this fall.”
The four teams in the field represent some of the best in college hockey with a combined nine national championships and 38 Frozen Four appearances. Boston College leads the pack with five national titles and a record 25 berths in the Frozen Four.
“We are always thrilled to showcase our program in new and exciting parts of the country against some of the top talent across the nation,” said BC coach Jerry York in a statement. “We are honored to be a part of this tournament and excited to get there.”
“We are very much looking forward to exposing the growing Vegas hockey market to NCAA Division I hockey,” added Arizona State coach Greg Powers. “Being the only Division I program in the Southwest, it is important for us to try and gain as much exposure in this region as possible. Top that with being able to play two games against other great programs in the new T-Mobile Arena, this tournament will certainly be one of our season’s highlights.”
Three-time national champion Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan (1991 national champion) will set aside their in-state rivalry to take part in the first-time event.
“We are honored to participate in the inaugural Ice Vegas Invitational,” Northern Michigan coach Grant Potulny said in a news release. “We look forward to bringing Northern Michigan hockey to Las Vegas and are excited for the opportunity to play at the state-of-the-art T-Mobile Arena. With the Wildcats, Arizona State, Boston College and Michigan Tech in the field, this tournament will give Las Vegas and the surrounding areas an exciting look at college hockey.”
“We’re excited to be in this tournament,” added Michigan Tech AD Suzanne Sanregret. “I know our players, fans and alumni are really looking forward to it. It’s great to be able to help grow college hockey out west with tournaments like this. We were fortunate to play in the Arizona State tournament a couple years ago and our alumni really came out to support the Huskies. I think we’ll have another good turnout in Las Vegas, and we’re excited to bring Michigan Tech Hockey to our alumni and fans in the West.”
More than 9,000 local fans recently attended a hockey “open house” at T-Mobile Arena and the NHL franchise has sold nearly 14,000 season tickets.