BGSU to play at Winterfest in Jan. at Fifth Third Field


Story updated at 3:32 p.m. on Feb. 4, 2014 to reflect the following correction: The Walleye will host Kalamazoo at Fifth Third Field on Dec. 27.

BOWLING GREEN — The Bowling Green State University hockey team will play its first outdoor game as part of Walleye Winterfest at Fifth Third Field.

The Falcons will face Robert Morris at noon Jan. 3, 2015 at the home field of the Toledo Mud Hens.

“We are thrilled to have this opportunity to participate in Winterfest, an event that will mean much to northwest Ohio,” BG athletics director Chris Kingston said in a statement. “For most of our student-athletes and coaches, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play collegiate hockey in an outdoor environment.

“I want to thank the Toledo Walleye front office for their work in making this a reality.”

The first modern-era college hockey game was played Oct. 6, 2001, when Michigan State and Michigan played in Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. By the end of the 2013-14 season, 26 NCAA Division I men’s games will have been played outdoors.

This will be the first outdoor game for both Bowling Green and Robert Morris. It will be just the second played in the Ohio, as Michigan played Ohio State at Cleveland’s Progressive Field on Jan. 15, 2012.

“We are very excited to be a part of Winterfest,” BG coach Chris Bergeron said. “We have not had a chance to participate in an outdoor event, so for us to be able to be a part of this, and to remain close to home by playing in Toledo, is a great opportunity.

“We have worked with the Toledo Walleye staff in the past and we know this will be a first-rate event.”

Fifth Third Field will be converted into an outdoor rink for two Walleye games, including a contest against Fort Wayne at 5:30 p.m. after the BG game.

The Walleye will host Kalamazoo at Fifth Third Field on Dec. 27 at 5:30 p.m., in the first-ever ECHL outdoor game. Fifth Third Field also will host youth, high school, and adult games from Dec. 26 to Jan. 4.