Is H-Town a hockey town? Hockey fans unite for inaugural 'Hockey Day in Houston'

Monday, February 26, 2024
'Hockey Day in Houston': 4,000 fans gather to celebrate largest ice hockey watch party at Saint Arnold Brewery
The hockey celebration was held mere days after Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told Bloomberg he's been in talks with the National Hockey League about bringing a team to Houston, the nation's largest city without professional hockey team.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An estimated 4,000 fans showed up for what was billed as Houston's largest ice hockey watch party and celebration of the sport.

The inaugural Hockey Day in Houston was held Saturday at Saint Arnold Brewery. The event, which was free to attend, celebrated and showcased the sport of ice hockey and local hockey organizations.

Support for the event was provided by the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, and the hockey celebration was held mere days after Houston Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta told Bloomberg he's been in talks with the National Hockey League about bringing a team to Houston, the nation's largest city without pro hockey.

"It's obvious Houston is a transient city," Lance Rosenberg, president of Houston's chapter of Hockey Players in Business - one of the sponsors of the event - told ABC13. "A lot of northerners have been moving down here, and they're hockey players. There's more than 1,500 adults, 1,000 kids, and 2,000 figure skaters in the area. The ability to see everybody come together no matter what their team is."

"Houston is a hockey town - it's a melting pot," local hockey fan Dominic Ortiz told ABC13 during the event. "Just look around, you have people from Dallas, New York, Philly fans - Detroit people. It's a hockey town, because you have people that still has a great desire and love for the game of hockey. We're itching, waiting, dying for our team back. Bring back the Aeros! We're here waiting for them."

Houston has been without a pro hockey team since the Aeros of the American Hockey League left after the 2012-13 season.

Hockey Day in Houston also featured a Zamboni, 13 different NHL telecasts, youth street hockey clinics, and a silent auction.

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