The ice hockey tournaments present a unique opportunity for local sports fans to watch the only National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hockey tournament that takes place outside of the United States. The 2019 tournament consists of a four-game competition which will see talented top-level student-athletes from Princeton University, Colgate University, Northeastern University and The University of New Hampshire, compete for the prestigious Belpot trophy.
The launch event has also seen the announcement of the second international NCAA Women’s Friendship Series. Teams from Merrimack College and Quinnipiac University will compete on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th January 2020 at The SSE Arena, Belfast.
Robert Fitzpatrick, CEO of the Odyssey Trust said, “The Odyssey Trust is very proud that the Friendship Four tournament is entering its fifth year of competition and it is an honour to welcome our guests from Princeton University, Colgate University, Northeastern University and The University of New Hampshire. It is a great privilege for Belfast to continue to host the only competitive NCAA games outside of America and we look forward to another fantastic tournament at The SSE Arena, Belfast.”
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor John Finucane commented, “Today’s launch marks the start of an exciting few weeks as we get ready to host the fifth Friendship Four tournament. Belfast City Council recognises the strategic importance of this event as it deepens the connections between Sister Cities Belfast and Boston."
Aine Kearney, Business Support and Events Director, Tourism NI said, “We are delighted to once again support the Friendship Four Tournament through the International Tourism Events Fund. Hosting this exciting tournament in The SSE Arena, Belfast offers a unique opportunity to watch the only NCAA college hockey tournament to be held outside of the United States. Events such as the Friendship Four NCAA Hockey Tournament are key to ensuring our continued success in growing our visitor numbers, particularly from our international markets. We wish the organisers and players the very best for what I am sure will be another successful tournament.”
The Friendship Four Tournament began in 2015 in support of the Boston and Belfast Sister Cities Agreement which was designed to foster stronger economic development, trade and investment, tourism, cultural exchange and educational linkages between the two cities.
For more information on the tournament and to book tickets, click here.