Columbus Blue Jackets to Host the 2015 NHL All-Star Game

Updated: November 5, 2013

After the disappointment of Columbus losing the 2013 NHL All-Star Game to last season’s lockout, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made good on his word that he would make it up. In a 3-0 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night, the scoreboard of Nationwide Arena played host to the good news. In 2015, the city of Columbus will host their first NHL All Star Game.

The 60th annual NHL All-Star Game is officially set to take place Jan. 25, 2015, in an event that has seemingly doubled in growth every season. “We’re thrilled to be here, and we wanted to let the city, the team and fans know that we’re honoring the promise and we’re excited to come,” said the NHL’s commissioner. “It was very important to us.”

Hosting the All-Star Game brings the eyes of the world to a market that has typically been dominated by the sporting programs of Ohio State University. The revenue potential for the city is unrivaled, and they are understandably excited. It is expected that the weekend will bring in nearly $12 million for the city and almost $50 million from media exposure. “The commissioner made a promise, and that promise has been kept. As a politician, that’s always nice to hear,” quipped Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “It’s an opportunity to show off the city to the world,” he stated. “People will descend on our city, and we’ll roll out the red carpet.”

Columbus has also expressed interest in hosting an outdoor game in Ohio Stadium, although it would need to be signed off on by Ohio State University. The NHL’s outdoor winter games have been wildly successful in recent years, and while the NHL has not ruled out hosting one in town, they will likely see what kind of response the NHL All-Star Game receives first. With Columbus quickly becoming a “Hockey Town,” it would not come as a surprise to see the NHL capitalize on the newer market that is gaining steam at a frenzied rate.

“We’ve always believed in Columbus,” stated Bettman. “This is a great city, a great sports town, a place that can hold major events well.” With the Ohio State Buckeyes dominating their competition, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Cleveland Indians making vast improvements to their rosters, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals finally becoming relevant again, it appears it’s nothing but up for the Buckeye State for the foreseeable future.

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