1902 : First Hockey Game Played at Amphidrome, the Home of Professional Hockey

December 29, 2018 all-day

The first hockey game was played in the Amphidrome arena in Houghton on December 29, 1902, when Portage Lake beat the University of Toronto, 13-2. In 1903-04 the Portage Lake Hockey Club became the first hockey team to pay all its players. In March 1904 the club won the U.S. Championship and beat the Montreal Wanderers in the Houghton Amphidrome for what was billed as the World’s Championship. Later that year local entrepreneur James Dee and Houghton dentist John “Doc” Gibson, a former hockey player originally from Ontario, organized the first professional hockey league. The International Hockey League (IHL) began play in December 1904 and comprised teams from Houghton; Calumet; Sault Ste Marie, Michigan; Sault Ste Marie, Ontario; and Pittsburgh. The league folded after three seasons, but it marked the start of professional hockey.

Source : The Amphidrome and Birth of Professional Hockey, Michigan Historical Markers website.

Dee Stadium
Houghton, Mich.

Dee Stadium, also called The Dee, is located on the same site as the Amphidrome, which is regarded as the birthplace of professional hockey, and is the seventh oldest indoor ice rink in the world.

Fire destroyed the Amphidrome on Jan. 9, 1927, and the New Amphidrome was built the following year. In 1943 it was renamed the James R. “Dee” Ice Stadium when the Michigan College of Mining and Technology (now Michigan Technological University) purchased it.

Michigan Tech played its last hockey game in the Dee Stadium on Jan. 13, 1972. It is the current home of the Houghton High School hockey team and Portage Lake Pioneers senior hockey team.

Source :

Craig Stancher, “100 Years Young: Calumet Colosseum”, USA Hockey Magazine

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