Column: New Ulm to host Bantam and PeeWee hockey tourneys in 2020

In the summer of 2020, New Ulm will host the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament at Johnson and Mueller Parks.

But New Ulm will also be hosting another state tournament earlier that year when they host the Minnesota State Bantam “B” and PeeWee “B” Boys’ Hockey Tournaments at the New Ulm Civic Center.

Bantam players range from 13 and 14-year-olds while PeeWee players are 11 and 12 year olds.

The double state tournament runs from March 13 through March 15 in 2020.

“There will be eight teams from the Bantams and eight from the PeeWees representing four different regions from around Minnesota,” Sean Pingland, President of the New Ulm/Sleepy Eye Hockey Association said. “We actually hosted a double state tournament four years ago for girls’ 14U and 12U.”

Pingland said that the tournament should draw well.

“We should draw between 1,000 to 2,000 fans for the tournament,” Pingland said. “And then you have the players.”

Pingland thought that successfully hosting a previous double state tournament helped New Ulm in securing the 2020 double state tournament.

“The year we last hosted a double state tournament, the next year Minnesota Hockey asked us if we would host a Regional Tournament,” he said. “This year we did host a double regional, which led into the double state tournament next year. The fact that we have the facilities and the experience of hosting these larger more high profile events has bode well for us. In our district, ourselves and Marshall both each have double arenas.”

And it will also be a windfall for local hotels, motels and local businesses monetarily.

“It absolutely is,” Pingland said. “It is a big win for the community. If you look at it from a people standpoint, there are 16 teams, with each team having between 15 to 16 players on the roster. That is around 250 kids, and most are going to bring families of two or three with mom and dad in addition to that. You add grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins that come in for the day or stay in hotels.

“We have essentially booked up all of the hotel rooms that we can in and around New Ulm,” Pingland added. “We are essentially going to book rooms. We have already booked up over 250 rooms for the tournament.”

Pingland said that, ideally, he would like to see New Ulm host a major tournament every year.

“Not only are they good for New Ulm but they are good for our association — they are a fundraiser for us,” he said. “They are also good for the promotion of hockey. We like to host these high profile events because we have great facilities for it.”

With the hockey tournament drawing between 1,000 to 2,000 fans to New Ulm in March followed in the summer by the Minnesota State Amateur Baseball Tournament in late August that will draw over 20,000 people to New Ulm, local businesses should be very happy next year.

CENTURY COLLEGE FINISHES FOURTH: Century College, with New Ulmites J.T. Hoffmann and Andrew Peters on the roster, finished fourth in the NJCAA D-III World Series this past weekend in Greenville, Tennessee.

Century lost 11-1 to Cumberland College, New Jersey before beating Rockingham, North Carolina 12-3. They then downed Oakton 15-10 and then lost 15-8 to Brookhaven, Texas.

In the win over Oakton, Hoffmann was 3 for 4 with three RBIs and Peters went 3 for 5 with three RBIs.