Kalamazoo to host hockey's first "Rainbow Ice Game"
KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Wings will become the first professional hockey team to host a game on rainbow-colored ice, the team announced at its annual preseason press conference Tuesday at Wings Event Center.
As part of their annual Hockey is for Everyone event on January 7, the K-Wings and Toledo Walleye will play a regular-season game on Rainbow Ice, starting at 7:00 p.m.
“The Kalamazoo Wings are proud to be the first team ever in professional hockey to paint the ice the colors of the rainbow,” said K-Wings General Manager Toni Will. “We are looking forward to being able to shine a light on creating an environment of togetherness no matter the race, national origin, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.”
Kalamazoo has become known for its colored ice traditions, starting with hockey’s first Green Ice game, a St. Patrick’s Day tradition that began in 1982. Since, the team has added longtime staples Orange Ice (Halloween) and Pink Ice (Breast Cancer Awareness) to the promotional calendar.
In past years, the K-Wings have experimented with Blue Ice, Yellow Ice, and for the first time in 2019, Lavender Ice for Hockey Fights Cancer. Rainbow Ice accomplishes a never-before-seen playing surface.
“We are passionate about supporting diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives such as Hockey is for Everyone,” said Will. “In partnership with the NHL we believe we can drive positive social change and create more inclusive communities.”
Kalamazoo will play five home games on their world-famous colored ice during the 2021-22 season, including Orange Ice (Oct. 30), Lavender Ice/Hockey Fights Cancer (Nov. 27), Rainbow Ice (Jan. 7), Pink Ice (Feb. 11), and Green Ice (Mar. 18).