SIOUX CITY, Iowa – Excellent shopping, dining and lodging have made Sioux City a favorite among visitors for many, many years.
Sioux City’s downtown and mall areas both feature great destinations. Parents of players who participated in the Musketeers’ Futures, Pre-Draft and Main Camps held at the IBP Ice Center were able to add to the city’s economy by experiencing all of what the city has to offer.
Athletes, of course, like to eat and shop, then rest once the day is over. A total of 120 players, including a majority of those selected in the USHL’s Phase I Draft, participated in the Futures and Pre-Draft camp held July 17-21, while 160 players saw action at the Main Camp held July 21-25, including 10 veterans from last season’s squad and several who were chosen in the USHL’s Phase II Draft.
Parents came from throughout the United States, their sons hoping for spots either on Coach Luke Strand’s 2020-21 squad or in future plans for the USHL franchise. Perhaps a good chunk of them were first-time visitors to Sioux City. “We are very proud we were able to hold our camp at the IBP Ice Center with almost 300 skaters,” said Musketeers President Rich Zaber. “By holding this camp, it provided the Siouxland economy well over $500,000 in hotel rooms, restaurants and more.”
“You’re talking almost 300 players who were in town,” said Strand. “They were using our hotels, our restaurants and they were doing the shopping of their choice. I think the amount of dining and hotel staying that camps like this bring in, it’s very impactful for the community.”
The Musketeers’ fifth-year head coach quickly added that Sioux City gets to showcase Sioux City for the whole world to see. It’s a positive comment, but this year because of COVID-19, the world, which typically has players from Canada and Europe on the team’s roster, wasn’t able to join in on the fun.
Still, for a franchise entering its 49th season, Sioux City has always put out the red carpet for the Musketeers and opponents the squad will face throughout the season. During the past, Sioux City hosted the leagues USHL Fall Classic that featured all of the league’s member teams which offered athletes not only a chance to tune up for the regular season but their parents and fans the opportunity to see Sioux City’s jewels away from the Tyson Events Center.
“We enjoy having people come to our community that don’t live here and see what the community does for us,” said Strand. “With that volume of people coming through town, there was a lot of money spent in town. We’re all in favor of supporting our community however we can.”
Parents and players of course, had their temperatures taken before they entered the inner part of the IBP Ice Center. This will be the Musketeers’ home away from the Tyson Events Center during the final training camp which begins Sept. 1 and the practice spot much of the time during the 2020-21 season.
Each time they entered the building, they were greeted by smiling faces of staff or volunteers taking temperatures, offering directions or giving ideas for places to eat or visit during breaks. It was yet another positive experience for those perhaps entering this venue for the first time. “Our protocols for COVID-19 provided a fun and very safe camp for all players and their parents,” said Zaber.