Hockey is for Everyone: K-Wings skate on rainbow ice

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Hockey fans were treated to something different at Friday’s Kalamazoo Wings game.

The multicolored ice on the rink was the centerpiece of the “Rainbow Ice” game between the Wings and Toledo Walleye.

General Manager Toni Will says her vision for the Wings take on the NHL’s ‘Hockey Is For Everyone’ campaign was a ‘pipe dream’, but persistence paid off.

“I said one day in a meeting… ‘How cool if we could add rainbow ice to our colored ice portfolio?'” Will said. “Over the years, we were able to talk through it and make it happen.”

The campaign promotes diversity and inclusion across hockey and all other sports. While the campaign isn’t new, playing on rainbow ice is. As the Wings became the first professional hockey franchise to incorporate it, it was a hit among fans, with more than 3,700 tickets sold prior to the puck drop.

“This is the next logical step in making it more inclusive and really showing it,” said season ticket holder Jordan Carter. “Honestly, I think it looks great. I didn’t think that it would turn out this good.”

“I think it’s a good sell, too, for people to be able to come and enjoy,” said Reyce Maynar, who was attending his first game ever.

Despite the Wings losing 4-2 Friday night, the team wore special jerseys that were auctioned off after the game. Proceeds went to the Southwest Michigan Miracle League, whose secretary, Bill Deming, was thrilled to be a part of.

“It’s a great opportunity because we’re serving the kids and… (we) can’t say enough how it means to us,” Deming said.

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