In two years the American Hockey League will be having it’s 75th anniversary of the All-Star Classic and the league still needs a home for the event. The President and CEO of the AHL stated at the annual state of the league address that he would like to have it in a city that has some history in the league. The general consensus amongst others seemed to narrow that down to either Hershey or Rochester.
The Rochester Americans last hosted the All-Star game on January 17, 2000 at Blue Cross Arena. The Hershey Bears last hosted the event on January 16, 1996. The four year difference would not really make that much of a difference with one city deserving it more than the other.
As we spent the weekend in Worcester for the 2009 All-Star Classic events it was amazing to talk to so many people about the Amerks and Rochester in general. The one comment that seemed to be made by most was about wanting to see the Amerks get back amongst the elite of the league.
Lewis Staats also commented that it had been brought up in discussions, but nothing more than in general conversation.
When I mentioned to David Andrews it should be in Rochester, he seemed to agree. Or he was just making me feel like the possibility exists since he knew I was from Rochester.
I was not living in Rochester at the time of the 2000 All-Star game, and this year in Worcester was the first I’d ever been to, so I don’t have anything to compare it to.. but the entire event seemed completely positive for the entire city of Worcester.. I imagine it was the same way for Rochester.
The money that I witnessed being spent at local restaurants, bars, hotels, motels, souvenirs, and stores seemed like anything but a recession was currently going on in the country.
It might not be the right time to ask the City of Rochester or State of New York to try and help cover costs of such an event, but it’s been reported since Curt Styres bought the team that the ownership group is willing to spend money to make money.
The “New Day for a Rochester Tradition” has been anything but that with the product on the ice, but one can only assume that not only the Florida Panthers but Amerks management are aware of the short comings and will make improvements over the summer.. and by the time the 2011 All-Star game approaches the Amerks will be a competitive force in the league yet again.
With the opportunity to have thousands of visitors to the city willing to open their wallets as well as putting the spot light on the great history of the Rochester Americans, this seems like an excellent opportunity for everyone that could be involved.