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Ice Hockey Finals Move To Compuware Sports Arena

EAST LANSING, Mich. - May 14 - Compuware Sports Arena in Plymouth has been selected as the site for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Ice Hockey Semifinals and Finals for a three-year period beginning in 2003. The decision to finalize plans with the venue was made by the Association's Representative Council during its annual Spring meeting, May 5-7, in Gaylord.

Opened in 1996, the Compuware Sports Arena seats 3,500 spectators for ice hockey and is located convenient to freeway access in Detroit's western suburbs, just West of I-275 off M-14 on Beck Road. The 170,000 square foot facility is the home to the Plymouth Whalers and Compuware Ambassadors junior hockey teams, and the professional indoor soccer team the Detroit Rockers. The arena also hosts ice shows, concerts and numerous other events.

It would be the first time the Ice Hockey Finals will take place in Southeastern Michigan since Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor hosted the Tier I finals in 1977. For 26 of the 28 years the MHSAA has sponsored a post-season Ice Hockey Tournament, the Finals have been conducted, at least in part, at the Flint IMA Sports Arena. The IMA has hosted all divisions of semifinal and final play since 1989. Yost hosted the first MHSAA Semifinals and Finals in 1975; and Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing was the Finals site in 1976. The Student Ice Arena in Houghton hosted one class of play along with the IMA in 1978 and 1988; and one class of play along with Yost in 1977.

"We look forward to having the MHSAA Ice Hockey Finals played at Compuware Sports Arena," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, MHSAA Executive Director. "Our schools and fans should have a great experience there.

"We are also very thankful for the role that the IMA Sports Arena in Flint has played for so many years as a host of the Finals, and we look forward to its continued involvement as a pre-Finals venue. The ice hockey community there, with great administrative leadership from people like Dave Durkin, has always made us feel secure that the operation of our tournaments was in good hands."

The MHSAA sought hosting proposals after plans to construct a new IMA Sports Arena and renovate the current arena in Flint were placed on hold indefinitely, and the future of the building's management became uncertain. In addition to Compuware and the IMA, Wings Stadium in Kalamazoo was a site considered by the Council as a potential Finals host. The 2003 finals will take place March 6-8.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.

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