A week or so ago we speculated that the "Belfast Beanpot", originally put forward by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh last year, could be resurrected, with reports in Belfast that there were plans to hold a college hockey tournament at the city's Odyssey Arena this Thanksgiving.
Today, we can see that the speculation wasn't idle. It's going to happen, with an announcement at the NCAA Frozen Four this week.
Northeastern & UMass-Lowell will travel across to Northern Ireland to play over Thanksgiving Weekend, with two teams, thought to be Brown and Colgate according to the Boston Herald, joining them.
The speculation was officially confirmed in NI today with Belfast's Lord Mayor, Arder Carson, sending this tweet this morning:
Off to Boston to seal the deal and announce a major ice hockey tournament for our city and to explore further trade and educational links!!— Cllr Arder Carson SF (@Arder_C) April 8, 2015
Carson and Belfast Giants Director of Hockey (and BU alum/member of the 95 NCAA champion Terriers) Steve Thornton, are flying to Boston today, and will announce the tournament along with Boston mayor Marty Walsh this week. The news has been greeted with excitement in the UK, with hockey fans over here already looking forward to the chance to see hockey they'd normally be pretty much unable to access over here. The Odyssey Arena, with a capacity of around 6,000, is home to the EIHL's Belfast Giants, and has already hosted the Boston Bruins to a capacity crowd. 12,000 free tickets will be given out to young people for free in Belfast for the event.