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US Pond Hockey Championship forced to reschedule because of weather

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The abnormally balmy December we've been having is forcing a popular hockey tournament to reschedule.

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championship, which draws hundreds of players and spectators to Lake Nokomis every year, announced Tuesday the tournament will now be held Jan. 28-31, 2016, instead of Jan. 14-17, when it was previously scheduled.

A statement on the tournament's website explains the decision, saying organizers have been monitoring ice conditions and the forecast for the past month and they don't believe there "will be sufficient ice for us to safely hold the event on the original date."

Despite Minnesota's weather being known to change drastically and "deviate from forecasts," organizers decided to make this decision now to give people as much time as possible to rearrange their travel plans (many players come from out of state), with organizers adding: "We understand that for some, this is going to be difficult."

For those who won't be able to make the new tournament date, their registration and payment will be honored for the 2017 event.

Organizers say they have also been working with hotels in the area that offered group rates for the tournament. Reservations at the Courtyard in Bloomington and at the Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel have been adjusted to the new tournament dates, at no additional cost.

Moving the date of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship will not interfere with the North American Pond Hockey Championship, which is being held on Lake Minnetonka Jan. 21-24. Organizers said earlier this month they will discuss the future of that event at their Dec. 28 meeting.

Cold actually saving some businesses money

Above-average temperatures recently have been hurting other businesses and events that rely on snow and cold weather in the winter, including the cancellation of the Sandstone Ice Festival.

But it has also been good news for some: the Minnesota Department of Transportation is saving some money because it has been able to work on additional projects, KARE 11 says, and landlords have also gotten a break on heating costs due to the above-average temperatures, the Star Tribune notes.

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