GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Van Andel Arena, Michigan Technological University, and Michigan State University have signed a four-year extension to the annual Great Lakes Invitational to keep the tournament in Grand Rapids. The 57th annual tournament will take place on December 28-29, 2023, and will open with Michigan Tech against Alaska and Michigan State versus Ferris State.
“We’re excited to continue this great partnership with Van Andel Arena and Michigan State University,” said Michigan Tech Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Suzanne Sanregret. “The GLI is one of the best college hockey tournaments in the country, and with the success of the first tournament at Van Andel Arena in 2022 we are thrilled to sign this four-year extension.”
Future teams to compete in the GLI against the Huskies and Spartans are Northern Michigan and Western Michigan in 2024, Miami and Ferris State in 2025, and Western Michigan and Notre Dame in 2026.
“Van Andel Arena is excited to host the Great Lakes Invitational tournament for the next four years,” said ASM Global Regional General Manager for Van Andel Arena, Richard MacKeigan. “We hope to build on the success of last year’s event to create an annual tradition for the Grand Rapids community and hockey fans from all over the state and the country.”
Michigan Tech has won the GLI 11 times in 56 tournaments, taking home the MacInnes Cup most recently in 2019. Michigan State has 12 GLI titles in 48 tournaments. Ferris State will be making its fourth appearance at the tournament and was the runner-up in 2022 for the first time in program history. Alaska will play in its first GLI in 2023.
Ticket packages will go on sale in September at VanAndelArena.com.
The Great Lakes Invitational was first played in 1965 after the idea for the tournament was conceived and implemented by Michigan Tech coach John MacInnes, Olympia Stadium General Manager Lincoln Cavalieri, and Detroit Red Wings Scout Jack Paterson. The tournament has been played at Olympia Stadium (1965-78), Joe Louis Arena (1979–2012, 2014–16), Comerica Park (2013), Little Caesars Arena (2018-19), and Van Andel Arena (2022). COVID-19 canceled the 2020 GLI and teams played a non-tournament showcase-style event in 2021.