Mike On The MikeMike Swendseid was recently honored for 30 years of being the public address announcer at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks.
By: Dan Corey, WDAZ
If you’ve ever been to a hockey game at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks, you know the voice of Mike Swendseid.
“Grand Forks hockey. It means a lot to me, yes it does.”
Mike has been the behind the mic for thirty years and is best known for, "Hey, hey. Hello, hello."
Tony Bina, former Grand Forks Central boys hockey coach, “People that come out of town know him with his 'hello, hello and welcome' saying before every home game. He loves what he does, he does it for the kids, and he has done a great job , a great service for Grand Forks high school hockey.”
John Bernstrom, KNOX sports broadcaster, “As long as I’ve been covering sports here in town since the late 90’s, you knew you were at Purpur Arena when you heard 'hey, hey, ho, ho.' Every game started that way and it has for years. Especially when you get into tournament time and you get into east region hockey tournament, think of how many games. At the end of day three, it feels like you know him even though you’ve never met him.”
The native of Petersburg, North Dakota was honored at the Central-Red River game for thirty years of being in between the penalty boxes and says he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Swendseid, “It’s great being associated with young people. I found out they’re a pretty good bunch of people. I appreciate the fans accepting me for doing this.”
Bina, “To be committed for that long, it just shows how much he loves the kids, how much he loves the game. We’ve been very fortunate to have him for as long as we have.”
But that fortune almost ran out in 2006. After running out of options in his battle with heart disease, Mike was a recipient of an experimental stem cell treatment, essentially saving his life.
Swenseid on his health, “It will be alright. Right now it isn’t the
best, heart problem and kidney problem.”
The health problems haven’t stopped him from doing what he loves.
“It’s been an honor and I think you very much. I want to give you a salute.”