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Fargo makes push for state hockey tournament

By Heath Hotzler The Forum FARGO -- Fargo took a major step Wednesday toward landing its first North Dakota state hockey tournament in four decades. The North Dakota High School Activities Association's statewide tournament committee said it will...

By Heath Hotzler

The Forum

FARGO -- Fargo took a major step Wednesday toward landing its first North Dakota state hockey tournament in four decades.

The North Dakota High School Activities Association's statewide tournament committee said it will tentatively recommend that the 2013-14 combined boys and girls state hockey tournament be awarded to southwest Fargo's Urban Plains Center, Fargo Public Schools activities director Ed Lockwood said.

Lockwood said the committee will make a final decision on the tournament host at its next meeting in December. The NDHSAA board must then approve the schedule.

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"I think it is significant recognition by the tournament managers that we have a venue that needs to have an opportunity to host (state hockey)," Lockwood said. "This is a step that we knew we had to take to initiate people thinking that we were interested in hosting."

The committee asked Lockwood to provide more information about the UP Center's capability to handle both tournaments in the same building, and how many seats are available in the arena's lower ring before a final decision is made.

The Urban Plains Center will host the Eastern Dakota Conference hockey tournament next year.

Ralph Engelstad Arena and Purpur Arena in Grand Forks have hosted the state boys and girls hockey tournaments the last two seasons. Grand Forks has hosted all but one state boys hockey tournament since 1961.

The John E. Carlson Coliseum in Fargo hosted state boys hockey in 1971.

"I think our tournament committee will look very favorably on (putting the tournament in Fargo)," Lockwood said.

Fargo was also placed on the schedule to host a pair of tournaments in 2013.

The Fargodome will host the state Class B girls basketball tournament, and Ronald N. Davies High School will have state boys swimming.

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Grand Forks was selected as the new host of the Class B boys basketball tournament in 2010-11. Bismarck could not host the tournament because it conflicts with the Western Dakota Association tournament. Minot will take Bismarck's place for the Class B boys tournament in 2011-12.

The conflict was created when the NDHSAA recently agreed to move the Class B boys tourney to the first week in March, and the Class B girls to the third week in March.

All tournament scheduling decisions for 2012-13 need board approval on April 21.

The Forum and The Dickinson Press are both owned by Forum Communications Co.

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