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SBD/January 30, 2012/Events and Attractions
Blue Jackets Set To Host '13 NHL All-Star Weekend In Columbus
Published January 30, 2012
STILL HONEYMOONING: In Raleigh, Luke DeCock noted the city hosted last year’s All-Star Game and the “alacrity with which Raleigh hosted one of the sport's biggest events and the way fans here embraced it changed its reputation as a hockey market forever.” Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau VP/Sports Marketing co-Chair Scott Dupree said, "For some outsiders, maybe it was a bit of a surprise or unexpected that a quote-unquote 'nontraditional hockey market' like Raleigh could step up and host an event of that size and scope as successfully as we did." Over the decade it took for Bettman “to fulfill his original promise to bring the game here, it was easy to believe it would never happen.” Now, a year later, it is “almost hard to believe it went so well” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 1/28). Jets co-Owner Mark Chipman said that it is “far too early in the game” for the team to consider hosting an All-Star Weekend. Just landing a franchise back after the original Jets left for Phoenix in ‘96 was “such a momentous occasion for the ownership group that ‘it still hasn’t completely sunk in.’” Still, the GLOBE & MAIL’s Roy MacGregor wrote at “some point, the Jets will be chasing to put on the All-Star Game, if not the Heritage Classic or a future draft.” Chipman: “I have no doubt our community would support any one of these events” (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/29).
PITCHING PROPOSALS: In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont wrote a “better idea” for the All-Star Game would be to “award it to the city that wins the Stanley Cup.” On All-Star Weekend the following season, bring in the game’s “best for a skills competition and fanfest.” As for the game, stage it “outdoors, pitting the previous season’s Stanley Cup finalists against each other in a regular-season game.” A Bruins-Canucks matchup on Jan. 7 “would have played well in front of 35,000 at Fenway Park and a national TV audience” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/29).