HOUGHTON, Mich. — Michigan Technological University and Olympia Entertainment have extended their partnership in hosting the Great Lakes Invitational through 2014 it was announced today by Michigan Tech Athletic Director Suzanne Sanregret. One of college hockey’s longest-standing annual tournaments, the GLI will continue to feature Michigan Tech, Michigan and Michigan State in addition to an invitational team.
“We’re thrilled to be able to continue the tradition of the GLI,” said Sanregret. “It’s been one of the most successful tournaments in the country, and we look forward to an on-going partnership with the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Michigan and Michigan State. The event has been a great way for us to keep a presence in lower Michigan and connect with our alumni and fans. It’s important that we continue what we’ve built up over the years and showcase college hockey in Detroit.”
The new three-year contract will take the GLI through its 50th year of existence. The 2012 event will be played outdoors at Comerica Park Dec. 27-28 as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival and in connection with the NHL’s annual Winter Classic. The 2013 and 2014 editions will be played at Joe Louis Arena, home of 33 of the previous 47 GLIs.
Mike Bayoff, director of strategic hockey alliances for Olympia Entertainment, is also excited to continue the GLI tradition. “The Great Lakes Invitational has been a big part of our ‘College Hockey in the D’ lineup for a long time and we’re very pleased that it will continue. With this year’s GLI taking place at Comerica Park as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, an exciting chapter in the rich history of one of the country’s premiere college hockey tournaments is set to be written, and we look forward to our outstanding relationships with the participating schools continuing to evolve.”
The Great Lakes Invitational was first played in 1965 after the idea for the tournament was conceived and implemented by Michigan Tech coach John MacInnes, Olympia Stadium General Manager Lincoln Cavalieri and Detroit Red Wings Scout Jack Paterson. The tournament, which has been played in late December every year, has grown into one of the nation’s premier holiday sporting events with more than 1.3 million fans in attendance since its inception.
“The Great Lakes Invitational Tournament has become a long-standing tradition with our program and other schools in the state,” said Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon. “We are pleased that this annual holiday tournament will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Michigan Tech has won the GLI nine times in 47 appearances. Michigan has competed in 42 GLIs and has claimed 15 titles. Michigan State owns 12 GLI crowns in 38 tries.
“We are thrilled that our relationship with Olympia Entertainment and participation in the Great Lakes Invitational will continue,” said Michigan State Athletic Director Mark Hollis. “This tournament is special to all of our hockey fans, players, and alumni, and is an important part of our schedule each season. We are looking forward to celebrating the excitement of this year’s GLI being a part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival, the 50th anniversary of the GLI in the near future, and most importantly, our continued relationship with the great people at the Detroit Red Wings and Olympia Entertainment.”
Western Michigan will join the three GLI mainstays for the 2012 outdoor event. The WMU Broncos will also be the invitational team in 2014. Denver will take part in the 2013 tournament.
Tickets for this year’s outdoor GLI at Comerica Park will go on sale through Olympia Entertainment on July 12.