banner
Erin Summers

An All-Star success

Posted February 2, 2011

I’ve been to some major sporting events but have never taken in an All-Star weekend for any professional sport.

Now that Raleigh has quieted back down to its normal hum, the posters have been removed from building fronts and the Hurricanes are back on the ice focusing on the playoffs – I can’t help but come to the conclusion that my first All-Star weekend may be the best one I experience ever.

It’s no secret the national buzz has been extremely positive over the course of the weekend. And though the emails from the NHL have slowly come to halt with the close of All-Star weekend Sunday evening, one did pop up Wednesday that solidified peoples remarks.

“By all measures, this was one of the NHL's most successful All-Star weekends ever with fans and our corporate partners embracing the event in a big way,” said NHL COO John Collins. “Our hosts in Raleigh did a tremendous job and it was gratifying to see the entire community energized around hockey. Our new innovation, the Player Fantasy Draft, was a huge hit. The Skills Challenge and the All-Star Game saw substantial viewership and digital increases.”

That’s high praise from someone who has been to a lot of NHL events, but putting it in numbers shows it that more clearly.

  • VERSUS scored its most watched NHL-All Star game in network history, hitting 2 million viewers at its peak.
  • VERSUS averaged 1.18 million viewers for the SuperSkills competition, a 35 percent increase over 2009.
  • The Fantasy Draft saw an average of 624,000 viewers a 107 percent increase from regular season game viewership on VERSUS.
  • Corporate sponsorship was up 42% over the last U.S. based game.
  • Overall retail sales were the best for an All-Star Game held in the United States in seven years and the third best in history for U.S.-based games.

The numbers don’t lie. And even though I have nothing to compare it to, I’d agree it was a pretty big success. The city was electric all weekend. Being a downtown resident each morning I could hear the festivities starting on Fayetteville St. and each morning I found myself walking downstairs and into Raleigh Wide Open and The Fan Fest to take it all in.

People of all ages flooded the streets and it was heart warming to see all the smiling faces. I met people from all over the country but most were true Carolina fans rocking their Hurricanes jerseys, showing pride in their team and State.

But Fayetteville Street wasn't the only strip that reaped the benefits of the All-Star event, each night hockey players and famous commentators could be spotted on Glenwood taking in dinner and drinks. Cabanas were selling like hot cakes at Solas, dinner reservations were hard to come by at Sullivans and The Progress Energy Center transformed Sunday night into a posh nightclub for the VERSUS after-party.

Raleigh really out-did itself as the place to be and be seen over the weekend.

From the Fanstasy Draft, to the SuperSkills, and then to the actual All-Star game I was impressed by the fan support here locally and how well it all came together. I had the opportunity to go to the All-Star game and it was truly a spectacle. The RBC Center turned into a light and graphics effects show, and the players really felt the love for the game and hospitality from the fans.

It was a great weekend for Raleigh and even though the NHL-All Stars have left town and everyone is back to business as usual, Raleigh will continue to reap the benefits from the national spotlight for a long time to come.

 

And just in case you need more proof...

“With the sports world raving about the innovative player draft at this past weekend's NHL All-Star Game, the focus now shifts to other sports that have gotten heat over outdated and uninteresting formats.” – CBSSports.com

“Officially the most exciting All-Star format in professional sports.” – Yahoo Sports

“A brilliant innovation.” – Yahoo Sports on the Player Draft

“Raleigh will be a tough All-Star act to follow…What a party it was…The bar has been raised high by the friendly folks in Raleigh.” – Ottawa Citizen

“There were many good things about the event in Raleigh. Even for the most cynical media types, it was hard not to feel a good deal of affection for the new innovation.” – ESPN.com

1 Comment

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • ncguy Feb 3, 9:45 a.m.

    Erin is very Hot!

  • NFL: Indianapolis at Dallas

    Today at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Sun Bowl: Duke vs. Arizona State

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Louisiana Tech at NC State

    Tuesday at 7:00 pm on WRAL-FM

Scoreboard
Local
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
3:30pm Today
TOR
NYK
4:30pm Today
CLE
MEM
6:00pm Tonight
MIA
BOS
6:00pm Tonight
BRK
DET
6:00pm Tonight
SAC
LAL
6:00pm Tonight
ORL
PHI
6:00pm Tonight
WAS
PHO
7:00pm Tonight
MIN
IND
7:00pm Tonight
OKC
NOP
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
1st OT
ARMY 60
MAINE 60
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
 
1st OT
CLST 62
USF 62
 
2nd
CARK 43
CCAR 60
 
2nd
UWGB 40
ARKLR 31
 
Half
RAD 32
CORN 38
 
2nd
UNT 35
CREI 21
 
Half
CAN 24
HC 18
 
Half
USB 26
GHND 26
 
2nd
OKST 27
MD 37
 
Half
WINT 44
REIN 32
 
2nd
UGST 38
SMISS 33
 
2nd
NEOM 41
TXPA 35
 
2nd
STLU 27
VERM 26
 
Half
UNCA 34
WCU 28
 
Half
EVAN 47
ALAST 49
 
1st
HART 39
FIU 29
 
1st
VALPO 31
GOSHEN 19
 
1st
LIP 0
PEAY 0
 
3:00pm Today
DEN
BRY
 
1st
MONT 0
SD 0
 
3:00pm Today
MTST
TENST
3:00pm Today
SAMF
LAMON
 
3:30pm Today
SCAR
COKR
 
4:00pm Today
HAMP
NARZ
 
4:00pm Today
SDU
SDCHR
 
4:00pm Today
BC
USC
4:30pm Today
NICST
TROY
 
4:30pm Today
BRAD
UCI
 
6:00pm Tonight
UGA
SHU
6:30pm Tonight
ALA
APP
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NDST
 
7:00pm Tonight
WASU
SJST
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ALCOR
 
10:00pm Tonight
SEAT
SACST
 
6:00pm Tonight
DET
COL
6:00pm Tonight
EDM
DAL
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
BUF
7:00pm Tonight
NYR
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
TOR
9:00pm Tonight
WIN
PHI
3rd
NOS 7
ATL 20
 
3rd
HOU 16
BAL 0
 
3rd
CAR 10
CLE 3
 
3rd
CHI 13
DET 10
 
4th
TAM 3
GBP 10
 
3rd
PIT 10
KAN 6
 
3rd
MIA 14
MIN 17
 
3rd
NYJ 13
NEP 10
 
4:05pm Today
STL
NYG
4:25pm Today
OAK
BUF
4:25pm Today
DAL
IND
8:30pm Tonight
ARI
SEA