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Grand Forks holds rally at Engelstad to host World tournament

Tis the season for rallies for causes at arenas. Still, the one held in Grand Forks was one of the most unusual ones ever held.
Normally, when you hear of a rally for a cause at an arena at this time, you expect to hear a politician speaking on matters of fiscal importance.

Such was the case the other day at Ralph Engelstad Arena when Grand Forks mayor Mike Brown was among the speakers. But the rally had nothing to do with the upcoming presidential election.

No, this was a rally in favor of the town hosting the World Junior Under-20 Hockey Tournament.

USA HOCKEY has listed Grand Forks — which held the event (along with Thief River Falls, MN) in 2005 — as one of the finalists for the 2011 event. The selection committee was in town to tour the arena. In addition to that, they attended the rally and took a helicopter tour of the city.

The Twin Cities, which hosted the tournament (when it was played on a smaller scale) in 1982, and Buffalo, NY are also under consideration

Roughly 2,000 people attended the event at Engelstad, a figure that pleased Chris Semrau, the Director of Events and Media Relations for the arena. "Their expectations were absolutely exceeded by the community rally and it increased our odds of getting the bid," he said.