The holiday season can mean many things: a first snowfall, the warmth of time spent with family and friends, or the opportunity to give back. For hockey fans, few events embody the excitement and energy of the holidays quite like the weeks leading up to the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.
For the second year in a row, Constellation is a proud partner of the annual NHL Winter Classic®, which has quickly become one of the most anticipated sporting events of the year as long-standing club rivals meet on the ice for the only outdoor game of the season, bringing ice hockey back out into the fresh air. The buzz that surrounds the event each year is emblematic of how much the NHL® and hockey fans value the history and tradition of the sport.
This year, the story will continue in Boston as the Bruins® host the Montreal Canadiens® at Gillette Stadium and Constellation is proud to return as the official energy services partner of the NHL®, once again providing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and Carbon Offsets to counterbalance the League’s estimated total carbon footprint – 550,000 metric tons – for the 2015-2016 season. Through its partnership with Constellation, the NHL® now ranks as the 17th largest user of green power in the U.S., according to the EPA’s Green Power Partnership.
As the NHL’s preferred energy choice, Constellation will again be a partner of the Legacy Initiative, one of the NHL’s on-going philanthropic programs established to give back to the hockey community by supporting youth hockey organizations around the country and implementing special projects for the NHL Winter Classic® host city.
As announced just today, the Winter Classic Legacy Initiative has selected the Charlestown Youth Hockey League as this year’s beneficiary, and has refurbished the Bryan McGonagle Street Hockey Rink at Ryan Playground. Named for Bryan McGonagle, a nine-year old hockey player who tragically died in a car accident in 1994, the Ryan Playground Street Hockey Rink has hosted hockey leagues from across the Boston metropolitan area for an annual tournament in his honor for the past 20 years.
The initiative, powered by Constellation, includes reconstruction of the rink’s pavement and installation of a new scoreboard. Additionally, Constellation will facilitate LED lighting upgrades with the support of Exelon Generation and Musco, a local Constellation channel partner. This Charlestown community hockey court has seen considerable wear and tear from decades of use, and the Winter Classic Legacy Initiative will ensure that families, neighbors and future hockey stars are able to enjoy the facility for longer hours each day, with minimal environmental impact.
Notable for being the oldest neighborhood in the City on the Hill, Charlestown is home to many past and present members of the professional hockey community. As Constellation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Stewart recently said, “Charlestown has a longstanding history of street hockey. These rink renovations and lighting upgrades will help keep the sport of hockey active in this community for years to come.”
Constellation’s goal in facilitating these upgrades is to keep the legacy alive in Charlestown and the greater Boston youth hockey community. Giving back to its customer communities is a key part of Constellation’s culture, and the NHL’s Winter Classic® Legacy Project has proven to be the perfect opportunity for just that.
This afternoon, Bruce Stewart took to the asphalt court at Ryan Playground with the McGonagle family, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Bruins® Owner Jeremy Jacobs, and NHL® Commissioner Gary Bettman, among a number of other city officials and Charlestown Youth Hockey Association players in celebration of the well-deserved improvements to the rink.
Last year’s Constellation-supported NHL Winter Classic® Legacy Initiative in Washington, D.C. was an integrated donation program that included facility upgrades to the Watkins Rush Rink and introduced street hockey to the District’s public school curriculum, bringing outdoor hockey to over 8,000 students.
As proud as we are at Constellation to help the NHL® set the new industry standard for sustainable business in sports, we’re equally proud to help the League make a positive impact in its own communities and create a sustainable environment for future generations of hockey players and fans through the Winter Classic Legacy Initiative. As we skate into the New Year, we at Constellation look forward to harnessing the energy of the season and powering communities around the country through this valued partnership.
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