The 2015 edition of the NHL All-Star weekend is being hosted in Columbus, Ohio and next year’s event will be held in Nashville, Tenn. Toronto appears to be the leading candidate to host in 2017 for the team’s centennial celebration. But what about 2018 and beyond? Which cities could make for a great location for a weekend of fantasy drafts, shot accuracy and no-contact hockey?
Here are four host cities we think fit the bill, along with pros and cons for each selection. Be sure to cast your vote on who you think would make for the best choice at the bottom!
Anaheim is one of just two NHL cities that has never hosted the all-star festivities. Maybe it’s time for a sunny, warm weather All-Star Game.
- One of the best teams in the league over the past few seasons and the 2007 Stanley Cup champions.
- Celebrity sightings at NHL games could translate into ASG appearances.
- The average high temperature in Anaheim in January is 22C. (That’s plus 22C, by the way.)
- Hard to compete with “The Happiest Place on Earth” nearby.
- Warm weather hockey may be a nice idea in theory, but in practice, both players and fans have had a hard time moderating the amount of sun they get.
The other NHL city that has never hosted an all-star weekend, Winnipeg’s fervent fan base never stopped believing they’d get their franchise back. Now that it is, perhaps it’s time to invite the rest of the NHL to come and visit.
- The only Canadian city with a franchise that’s yet to host.
- Rabid fanbase sure to attend all events surrounding the game and skills competition despite the arctic conditions.
- One of the loudest arenas in the NHL, they’d be able to chirp every team’s biggest star ALL AT THE SAME TIME.
- The Canadian quota is working against them. Sometimes it’s hard to remember Canada, all tucked away down there, but Ottawa hosted the last all-star weekend back in 2012 and Toronto could be next.
- It’s home to the smallest arena in the NHL.
- The average low temperature in Winnipeg in January is -23C. That’s without windchill.
Not home to an NHL franchise (yet), it has hosted the NHL Awards and could be a neutral site and possible tryout for a league expansion into the great glittering oasis in the desert.
- They’ve had experience in hosting exhibition games before and by now have probably figured out how to keep crickets off the ice.
- It’s already a high-traffic tourist destination, which *should* lead to a packed house.
- It’s the only place where an All-Star Game MVP could bet their vehicle prize on “22 black.”
- Plenty of other tourist attractions to choose from, meaning Criss Angel could make the audience disappear.
The All-Star Game is a party weekend, and “Nawlins” is the unofficial North American capital when it comes to party cities.
- Exposure in another untapped southern market
- Bourbon Street. Need I say more?
- Fans already throw enough stuff on the ice as it is – do we need to tempt them into tossing beads on the ice, too?
- Might start a tradition that the game’s MVP is subject to a voodoo curse.
So, who of these candidates do you think deserves the event the most?