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North Dakota City Invests in Youth Hockey Streaming Service

East Grand Forks, N.D., will host a broadcast of the city’s youth hockey games over the Internet after City Council members agreed to a contract with Youth Sports Plus to install cameras in the city’s three ice arenas.

live stream
(TNS) — East Grand Forks staff are set to let a Brainerd-based company broadcast the city's youth hockey games over the internet.

City Council members on Tuesday agreed to a three-year contract with Youth Sports Plus to install automated cameras in each of the city’s three ice arenas. The company would then charge hockey fans to watch individual games or pay a bulk price to stream, say, an entire season or tournament, according to Reid Huttunen, the city’s parks and recreation superintendent.

City staff tried to put together a similar arrangement on their own last season, but those cameras only captured a wide shot of the entire rink, Huttunen said, which made it tough to make out the action during a game. The company’s system is able to track and zoom in on, without a camera operator, the puck’s movement across the ice.

“It’s the first time that it’s being outsourced like this,” Huttunen said, “and a lot better and newer technology than what we were attempting to use.”

Under the agreement, the company would pay to install the cameras and then split revenue from purchased youth hockey streams 50/50 with the city. The city can also offer up to two banner ads per game to “local sponsors.” The company approached the city about broadcasting its hockey games, Huttunen said, and there was no competitive bid process for the contract.

A similar agreement is reportedly in the works for East Grand Forks high school hockey games, but staff at East Grand Forks Public School did not return Herald requests for comment on Tuesday afternoon.

Youth Sports Plus streams and archived footage of earlier games can be found at MNHockey.tv.

Tentative tax levy; seized pickup would be a ‘bad look’

In related news, council members:

— Voted 6-1 to approve a preliminary property tax levy for the city’s 2022 budget. The $6.17 million levy is about 8% larger than 2021’s, and city staff said it would help pay for deferred maintenance and other projects the city has put off in prior budget years. Voting against the preliminary levy was City Council member Clarence Vetter, who last week objected to increasing the city’s levy while simultaneously increasing utility fees. Vetter did not immediately return a Herald request for comment after Tuesday’s meeting.

— Voted 6-1 to allow city staff to bid on a pickup truck being auctioned by the East Grand Forks Police Department via a third-party company. The trucks and other vehicles being sold at that auction were most likely seized by state or local law enforcement, and council member Marc Demers, the lone vote against the plan, said it would be a “bad look” for the city government to buy a seized truck. If the city puts in the high bid on a truck, it would be used to spray for mosquitos.

© 2021 the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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