BROOKINGS, S.D. – The North American Hockey League franchise in Alexandria, Minnesota is relocating to Brookings, and will begin play in Larson Ice Center in September. The N-A-H-L features 16-to-20 year-old players who are looking to enhance their skills, and draw attention from college and National Hockey League scouts. Owner Chris Canavati says Brookings officials displayed a strong desire to host a team and he is hoping to sell out the two-thousand seat arena each game. Brookings city manager Jeff Weldon says the arena configuration allows for some group seating, and alcohol sales during Blizzard games in a certain part of the Arena. The Blizzard had to work out an agreement with the Brookings Ice Skating Association for concessions, and advertising in the arena and association president Brian VanLiere says those negotiations were, at times, difficult. He says the entities need to cooperate, especially with scheduling. VanLiere says that he hopes the Blizzard will draw fans who will return to watch Brookings Ranger hockey. Brookings becomes the second South Dakota community to have a NAHL Junior Hockey team. The Aberdeen Wings just completed their second season in the league.
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