MELLENBRUCH: Get out the vote for Maysa Arena

What are you doing right now? Yes, this very moment.

Sitting at your desk at work? Waking up at home with a morning cup of coffee?

Wherever you are, make sure you do one thing today.

Vote.

But not for a person or law. Vote for a building. Your building.

Vote for Maysa Arena.

“This is a great little community that seems to back everything that comes their way,” Minot Minotauros coach Marty Murray said. “Just looking at social media, this thing seems to be picking up some steam.”

Thanks to sumbissions by members of the Minot community – which spanned the length of a 10-week nomination period that began Jan. 1 – Maysa Arena is one of 10 finalists to become Kraft Hockeyville U.S.A. Maysa’s nomination alone will reportedly garner at least $10,000 toward arena upgrades.

But with enough votes, that figure could become even greater.

Maysa is also in the running to win the $150,000 grand prize, which would also gift the arena an opportunity to host an NHL preseason game in 2016, televised live on NBCSN.

A professional hockey game. In Minot.

Think about that.

An NHL game at Maysa Arena – even a preseason game – would be one of the biggest sporting events to ever grace the Magic City.

We’re talking about a packed house. Fans from wall to wall, without question.

Despite this town’s already-

energetic hockey crowds, this would be something special, and attendance numbers would be astronomical – even more so than they already are.

“It’d be fun to not only get the grant, but to bring an NHL game here would be huge,” Murray said. “That kind of opportunity doesn’t come around every year.”

Want to see it happen? Prove it.

Because the Maysa needs Minot’s help to move forward in its running for the grand prize. The first round of online voting began Tuesday, and runs through 11:59 p.m. today. Fans are encouraged to vote at rafthockeyville.com, and all are permitted up to 50 individual votes per day.

It’s really easy.

In fact, as I sit here writing this, I’m casting votes of my own. There, just now.

Finished. Another 50 votes submitted for Maysa Arena, and you already know it’s getting 50 more from me today.

It didn’t take long, either. A mere fraction of the time it took me to drive into work this afternoon, which isn’t a long trip by any means.

Your turn, Minot.

“It’d be pretty cool if this ends up happening,” Minot State men’s hockey coach Wade Regier said. “You can’t buy that kind of exposure. It would never happen in any other case, so it’d be a big deal if we can bring this kind of thing home.”

Kraft Hockeyville was first started in 2006 in Canada, but the first American winner was announced less than a year ago.

On May 2, 2015, the Cambria County War Memorial Arena, localed in Johnstown, Pa. – another home to a North American Hockey League franchise – claimed the Kraft Hockeyville U.S.A. honor, as the community “rallied like no other to make sure their town came out on top,” according to an unidentified program spokesperson.

This year, Maysa Arena is one of five western finalists up for the award, and the only North Dakota nominee.

“We believe that each of the top 10 finalists represent the spirit of the program and we wish them all luck,” a program spokesperson said via email. “It is our hope that through Kraft Hockeyville U.S.A., more kids will have the opportunity to enjoy youth hockey at local arenas around the country.”

If enough votes are cast, Maysa Arena would become a top-four finalist for the hockeyville title, which would boost Minot’s arena grant up to $25,000.

Beyond that, if Maysa makes the top two, it would be guaranteed at least $75,000 and a chance bring an NHL contest to the Magic City.

For that to happen, the arena needs your help.

I’ve seen the depth of Minot’s hockey support on more than one occasion. I’m confident the votes are out there.

Time to start walking the walk, people. Let’s get this done.

“It seems like anything like this has come up, the community rallies around it. It’ll be fun to see where we get to,” Murray said. “You’re already seeing a lot of people voting and talking about this thing. Hopefully we can continue that momentum.”

This is the opinion of Joe Mellenbruch, sports editor of The Minot Daily News. Joe covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @Mellenbruch_MDN.