The tournament has a new headline sponsor for 2022 – U.S. software delivery platform, Harness, which has an office based in Belfast, has secured the naming rights for the event, which will be known as the ‘Harness Friendship Four 2022’.
The high-profile tournament, organised by The Odyssey Trust will bring four top U.S. college hockey teams - UMass Lowell River Hawks, Massachusetts Minutemen (UMass), Quinnipiac Bobcats and Dartmouth Big Green - together to compete for the coveted Belpot trophy at The SSE Arena, Belfast over Thanksgiving weekend (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 November 2022).
The first and only NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Division One tournament to take place outside the United States, the Harness Friendship Four 2002 promises two packed days of high energy, fast-paced hockey in the heart of Belfast.
Supported by partners, Harness, Department for Communities, Belfast City Council and Northern Irish Connections, The Odyssey Trust is providing local schools and community groups the opportunity to apply for free tickets across the four games, with the college teams also scheduled to conduct a select number of school visits when they are in town.
Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Christina Black met the Hockey East, ECAC Hockey Commissioners and delegates from the four college teams during their recent planning trip to the city. Commenting after the visit she said: “Building on the strong foundations of our Sister City agreement with Boston, this tournament has extended the hand of friendship, bringing communities across Belfast together to enjoy high-energy sport and entertainment in the heart of Belfast. We look forward to welcoming the four college teams to the city this November for what promises to be an action-packed few days, both on and off the ice.”
The Friendship Four was born in Belfast in 2015, marking the start of a highly popular international ice hockey tournament that continues to grow to this day. The tournament was devised and has been developed by The Odyssey Trust, to promote education, social welfare, and community integration in Northern Ireland, building on the Sister Cities agreement between Belfast and Boston. The tournament last took place in Belfast in 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UMass Lowell River Hawks were the first winners of the tournament back in 2015, while the UMass Minutemen and Quinnipiac played here in 2016. Dartmouth will make their Belfast debut at this year’s tournament.
Tickets for the Harness Friendship Four 2022 are on sale now, via FriendshipFour.com and Ticketmaster.ie, priced at £10 for adults and £5 for children per game. A four-game pass is also available, priced at £30 for adults and £15 for children. A service charge & facility fee will apply to all ticket types.
Schools and community groups wishing to avail of free tickets to the Harness Friendship Four Friday 25th afternoon (2PM game), should email firstname.lastname@example.org, with their school/community group name, noting the number of tickets requested and the preferred date/game. Complimentary school/community group tickets are subject to availability and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.