The National Hockey League’s Columbus Blue Jackets, in partnership with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, has been awarded the League’s 2015 All-Star Celebration. The announcement was made on Saturday by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Columbus will host the weekend of NHL hockey events and activities, including the NHL All-Star Skills Competition® and 60th NHL All-Star Game, on January 24-25, 2015 at Nationwide Arena, close to eight years after Columbus hosted the NHL Entry Draft in 2007 and nearly 10 years after the city hosted the NCAA Hockey Frozen Four in 2005 at the Schottenstein Center at the Ohio State University.
This international event is expected to generate an estimated $12 million in visitor spending* and represent an estimated 8,000 hotel room nights with 140,000 hockey fans and 20,000 out-of-town visitors experiencing Columbus.
“Columbus has one of the top hockey arenas and fan experiences in sports,” said Linda Logan, Greater Columbus Sports Commission executive director. “Combined with the Arena District being considered one of the best urban entertainment complexes in the country, we look forward to converging all of our strengths to make it the best NHL All-Star Weekend the League has ever hosted.”
As Columbus, the 15th largest city and fourth largest state capital in the United States, grows in recognition as a city on the rise and a premier national sports destination, the NHL All-Star Celebration will represent more than $50 million dollars in national and international media value. Nearly 1.5 million viewers watch the NHL All-Star Game each year.
“It’s been great to work with the NHL through the planning process to demonstrate our experience as a host city and our commitment to rolling out the red carpet to athletes, coaches, staffs, sponsors and fans,” said Logan. “This event enhances our reputation as a premier sports destination.”
Nationwide Arena, one of the most beautiful and unique sports and entertainment venues in the world, opened its doors in September 2000. Nationwide Arena is the centerpiece of the Arena District, one of the premier entertainment districts in the country, offering beautiful hotels, exceptional dining and live entertainment. The arena and surrounding entertainment district have served as a benchmark for cities seeking to emulate what has been created in Columbus.
The $150 million facility raises the bar of excellence for sports and entertainment facilities and includes 16 Founders Suites, 36 Executive Suites, 26 loge boxes, 39 Club Terrace Tables and six Party Suites, along with two 80-foot party suite towers, a 70-foot glass atrium, open lobbies and concourses, and a 135-foot light tower at the southeast corner which illuminates the downtown Columbus sky to signal an event happening inside the venue.
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission (GCSC) has bid on and brought more than 240 new sporting events to Columbus that have generated an estimated $285 million in visitor spending, while also working to retain annual bid events that have generated an additional $200 million.
*NOTE: This visitor spending figure does NOT include local spending or use a multiplier, but reflects direct visitor spending only.