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Report: Columbus primed to land 2013 NHL All-Star Game

Jan 27, 2012, 11:18 PM EDT

Chicago Blackhawks v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

Imagine, for a second, the potential awkwardness of having four different Columbus Blue Jackets on next year’s All-Star rosters.

It’s doubtful that Ohio voters will jam up the voting quite like Ottawa fans did this year, but consider it an amusing possibility if the rumors of Columbus getting the 2013 NHL All-Star Game are true. Trusty Blue Jackets beat writer Aaron Portzline reports that “two sources” claim Columbus might get that news sometime Saturday.

Blue Jackets execs issued the typical rounds of “no comment” answers, but Portzline rolls out some details on how much the event could benefit the struggling market.

The game could generate $15 million to $25 million in revenue for Columbus, based on economic impact studies done by cities that have hosted previously.

This would be an incredible burst of good luck for a franchise and market that has suffered from a paralyzing combination of incompetence and tough breaks. Portzline explains why Columbus hasn’t gotten an All-Star Game before, as well:

In the past, the NHL would not approve Columbus as a host for the game because the area around Nationwide Arena lacked a sufficient number of high-end hotel rooms needed to house sponsors, celebrities, players, etc. But a 500-room Hilton, being built just blocks from Nationwide Arena, is planned for completion by Sept. 2012, a month before the 2012-13 season opens.

Also, the league informed Columbus two years ago that it would not be considered as a host city until it achieved financial stability in the form of a new lease agreement.

The Blue Jackets/Columbus hosted one major NHL-wide event before in the form of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, but an All-Star weekend is another ballgame entirely. Keep in mind this is obviously far from an official report, but Portzline is a reliable source of information.

If this goes through, it would be a great thing for the Blue Jackets, although we might have to steel ourselves to a jaw-dropping hypothetical: Steve Mason, one-time NHL All-Star.

  1. spokedjackets - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:43 PM

    Love this move. Put aside the garbage team, Columbus has a nice fanbase and is a quality city to host the game. Ill meet you all out at the R Bar to have a drink!

  2. bhawkce - Jan 27, 2012 at 11:55 PM

    hope they don’t come see how bad the road construction is right now. everyone would run away screaming!

  3. farvefromover - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:22 AM


  4. swizzler16 - Jan 28, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    Bad players and Bettman coming,
    We’re finally on our own.
    This summer I hear the grumbling,
    The NHL is dead in Ohio.

  5. rainyday56 - Jan 28, 2012 at 1:53 AM

    Shouldn’t there be an NHL team in the venue which hosts the ASG?

  6. yettyskills - Jan 28, 2012 at 2:39 AM

    Ya the team sucks but the Ohio market is important to the league so it makes sense.

  7. surefooted1 - Jan 28, 2012 at 5:14 AM

    Great! Everyone will get to experience the cluster f known as the 70/71 split.

    Advice: if you come, stay downtown or in the arena district.

  8. east96st - Jan 28, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Let me see if I understand the “message” the NHL is sending – 1) run your franchise into the ground 2) ignore, vilify, and dismiss your fans 3) Blow the draft 10 out of 11 years 4) have the worse hockey team in the league and 5) build a big hotel and THEN we will give you the All Star game as a reward, even though, the highways around the arena are undergoing years of construction work and parking is GROSSLY inadequate. Wow. Is Gary Bettman an absolute idiot or is he just as incompetent as the Jackets owner McConnell? The stupidity of this move is mind numbing.

  9. takingbovadasmoney - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    “the ohio market is important to the NHL…” Ok, I have heard it all now. Just as important as Atlanta, Phoenix, and Florida.


  10. milltec - Jan 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    Wow, why does everyone here hate Columbus? We already know our team is doing terrible but to say the fans don’t deserve this because our team is awful? I don’t understand that at all…

    • east96st - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      milltec – You’re not thinking ahead at all. This is NOT about Columbus. This about the Jackets. By giving this honor to the Jackets, the NHL is rewarding McConnell for running the franchise into the ground. Don’t you want the Jackets to have an owner and management that cares? That’s interested in fielding a competitive hockey team? Because if you do, this is the WORSE thing that can happen. This is the NHL saying, “Hey, we know you drove your franchise into the ground, but have this honor and huge payday anyway!”. Also, you sound like you love your hometown. That’s awesome. So, do REALLY want to show it off when the highways are a huge mess because of construction and when there’s no parking around the arena because of the construction? Everyone will come, see the game, and go home bitching about the traffic and lack of parking and how they will NEVER come to Columbus again. You don’t invite guests to your home when it’s an absolute mess and walls are missing because you’re renovating it, do you? Of course not! So, wait until the construction is finished in the arena area and THEN bring a top event to Columbus. As for the All-Star game, dangle it as a carrot. It should be a reward. Your team can get it when you show the League and the fans you care about the product you put out on the ice. The Jackets don’t and, therefore, should not get the honor.

      • cannonblast14 - Jan 28, 2012 at 6:58 PM

        Ownership is spending up to the cap. They care.
        There is too much wrong in this comment to even comment. Come to Columbus for the game, you will be shocked how nice the area is.

    • cannonblast14 - Jan 28, 2012 at 6:59 PM

      Jealousy is a strong factor

  11. flyersfandave - Jan 28, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Maybe the league is trying to breathe s little life into a struggling market. But as mentioned before it’s self inflicted. That team drafts horribly. New front office, new scouts and some hockey players and you got something in Ohio

  12. takingbovadasmoney - Jan 28, 2012 at 3:23 PM


    Nah. I hate Columbus.

  13. bsputnik - Jan 29, 2012 at 9:16 AM

    This is as funny as the Pirates hosting the 2006 MLB ASG. Owners who just don’t deserve the honor of the game.

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