All-Star Game In Glendale?

micketla

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Sports Update

Coyotes may play host to NHL All-Star Game in ’06

By Jerry Brown, Tribune

Once on the outside looking in at the 2006 NHL All-Star Game, it now appears all but a formality that Glendale will host hockey's midseason classic in the new $200 million home of the Phoenix Coyotes.

The official announcement will likely come in early June during the Stanley Cup Finals, but Glendale and one other NHL city — believed to be Dallas — are finalists for the game, which annually pumps around $20 million into the host city's economy.

Sources say Dallas is considering taking a step back to 2007, giving it more time for development around its new American Airlines Center. That would clear the way for Glendale to host the game and the accompanying NHL FANtasy interactive event in February 2006.

The event would be the first leg of a possible three-year trifecta of major sports jewels to be held in the giant West Valley sports complex known as Westgate. In January 2007, the Fiesta Bowl will move from Sun Devil Stadium to the new Glendale home of the Arizona Cardinals and host college football's national championship. And in the coup de grace, Arizona is currently making a big push for the 2008 Super Bowl, which also would be held in the new Cardinals stadium.

“If we don't get the game in 2006, we're talking about 2009 or 2010 and we don't think we need to wait that long,'' Coyotes president Doug Moss said. “We wouldn't put ourselves in the running if we didn't think we had the facility, the manpower and the ability to pull it off in ’06. And we're really hoping we get that chance.''

Attending the groundbreaking of the arena last year, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman promised that the league would bring an All-Star Game to Glendale.
But Arizona's initial proposal called for the FANtasy event to be held at the Civic Plaza in downtown Phoenix — a 20-minute drive from the Glendale arena — and was frowned upon by the league.

But Miami, Fla., staged the game and all the other events for the 2003 All-Star Game at its arena in Sunrise, Fla. Moss was there and immediately envisioned doing the same thing in Glendale. The Coyotes quickly revised their proposal and resubmitted it to the league.

NHL vice president of events and entertainment Frank Supovitz recently toured the new arena and the hotel site and came away convinced that Glendale is ready to host the event — although he stressed no final decisions have been made.

“The plans and the ideas are world class and the arena is a terrific magnet for events such as ours. There is no question it will work,'' Supovitz said. “The revised proposal they made was substantial and, after the success we had in Florida this year, we saw how successful an outdoor, all inclusive event can be in a warm weather climate.

“Clearly, Glendale is a very strong contender for our event in the future.''

The 2004 All-Star Game will be played at the Excel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn. — one of the sites the Glendale arena is patterned after. The 2005 game has yet to be awarded and could be cancelled if, as expected, the 2004-05 season is delayed or even cancelled. The current collective bargaining agreement between the players and owners expires in September 2004 and both sides appear to be digging in for an extended work stoppage.

If the 2005 game is cancelled, the host city would likely get the next All-Star game in the rotation in 2008.
 
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puckhead

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Ah yes, we played a handful of games in the brand spanking new arena and then, bam, lockout season! Way to keep that momentum going! Just another one of a trillion things that have gone wrong with this franchise.

It's absolutely amazing that there are more than two people still following this franchise. When other markets bash our attendance, I'm always thinking, we have an enormous fanbase considering what's gone on.
 
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