October 21

On October 21 with workers still installing the seats at the Met Center in Bloomington, the North Stars played the California Seals to a 3-3 tie in their first home game ever. The key players behind Minnesota’s effort were Walter Bush Jr., a lawyer who co-owned Minnesota’s Central league team, Minneapolis Bruins; Gordon Ritz, a former Yale hockey player who made his money in the construction business and Bob McNulty, a popular broadcasting personality. Bush lured in additional investors from both Minneapolis and St. Paul to form a eight man team. With fierce competition from other bidding cities, including a rival bid from their home state, Bush and his team set out to convince the NHL’s Board of Governors to hand over one of the six expansion franchises. Despite the fact that the Twin Cites owned the smallest sized television market among the major applicants, the NHL must of felt that they couldn’t pass up on a community so rich in hockey tradition. On February 9th, 1966 they officially granted Minnesota an expansion team scheduled to begin play in the fall of 1967. Eventually, five cities St. Louis, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Oakland were also welcomed into the NHL. Talks began with the Metropolitan Stadium Commission on premise that an arena strategically placed between Minneapolis and St. Paul in the suburb of Bloomington , where the Twins and Vikings had already been successful, would be ideal for hockey as well. The commission was sold on the idea and agreed to the construction of the building, which would later be named Metropolitan Sports Center.

Thanks to Mr. Gunderson’s 6th grade class at Virginia-Roosevelt Elementary School for the research on October’s Day in History.

Thanks also to Minnesota’s Learn and Serve America Service Learning Program for their help.

Explore posts in the same categories: Day in History

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