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Without hockey fans, St. Paul welcomes Crashed Ice races back to town

Last winter, St. Paul's first Red Bull Crashed Ice event drew tens of thousands of people downtown. So with the NHL lockout canceling the Wild's season so far, and downtown bars, restaurants and shops hurting from a dearth of customers, there was some elation today with the announcement that the Crushed Ice event will return, Jan. 24-26.

Mayor Chris Coleman tweeted:

#crashedice back in Saint Paul January 24th-26th. We couldn't be more excited for the return of ice cross in downtown!

And then he posted on Facebook:

Couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the return of Red Bull Crashed Ice to downtown Saint Paul this year- January 24 - 26

And Coleman spokesman Joe Campbell said:

"Crashed Ice's economic impact on our economy last year was undeniable, with some estimates showing it had an impact in the $20M range. For businesses near the Xcel that are waiting out the NHL lockout, Crashed Ice will bring in some much needed revenue to their bottom line. We are thankful to Red Bull for their partnership and we can't wait to welcome Crashed Ice back to Cathedral Hill in January."

The ice course, which starts at the Cathedral and twists and turns downhill, will start higher and run a little longer this time, officials said.

There's some nice video of last winter's event here. And here's an animated video of the course.

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