Triangle will host NHL All-Star Game next January
Posted April 7, 2010
Updated April 8, 2010
Raleigh, N.C. — The 2011 NHL All-Star Weekend will take place at Raleigh's RBC Center Jan. 29 and 30, the league commissioner announced Thursday.
“The fact that this event has been awarded to the Hurricanes is a testimony to the strength of the market, the strength of the franchise and, above all, the enthusiastic support the Caniacs show for their team,” the NHL's Gary Bettman said.
More than 1,000 fans of the Carolina Hurricanes gathered to hear Bettman say, "I have the answer you have been waiting for."
"You're known for doing your tail-gating and I'm pleased to give you and excuse to do even more."
He reassured the fans in attendance that Canes season-ticket holders would be able to purchase tickets to the All-Star Game, and he used the opportunity to encourage season-ticket purchases.
Canes owner Peter Karmanos had been outspoken about his desire to host the NHL’s showcase event, identifying it as one of his goals in building a hockey powerhouse in the Carolinas.
“This will be a very exciting event for Caniacs to take part in, and I know the Triangle area will be a great host for the NHL and its star players,” Karmanos said.
Bettman told the audience that the All-Star Game will bring increased publicity league-wide, nationally and internationally.
Perhaps more importantly, the festivities will mean a huge monetary boost for the team and the Triangle. "This will be as big as it gets in terms of economic impact," said Scott Dupree of the Raleigh Convention and Visitors' Bureau.
Bettman cited developments and improvements at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and in Raleigh's downtown among the lures of the area for visitors.
"This building, this organization, this community has known for a long time what we needed. It was just a matter of lining it all up," he said.
The Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers, Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators had also been bidding for the game.