Portland to Host 2010 AHL All-Star Classic – Updated

According to The Maine Hockey Journal, the Portland Pirates and American Hockey League have announced a 2:00pm press conference for Thursday to announce that Portland will be hosting the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic.  The city of Portland last hosted the event in 2003.

We had a great opportunity this past season to be able to travel to the All-Star Classic in Worcester to cover the event which was a lot of fun.  Everything from the skills competition, All-Star luncheon, the game itself, and all of the after parties were a blast.  It was a great opportunity to not only meet a lot of players, but dedicated hockey fans as well.

The 2011 game will be the 75th anniversary of the AHL, we’re still hoping that Rochester makes a bid for it.

Updated: Here’s additional information that was announced about the event.

PORTLAND, Maine … American Hockey League President and CEO David Andrews has announced that the Portland Pirates have been awarded the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic, to take place Jan. 18-19, 2010. In addition, Time Warner Cable was unveiled as the title sponsor for the event.

“The American Hockey League is excited to be returning our All-Star showcase to Portland next winter,” said Andrews. “The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will give us an opportunity to show the hockey world our sport’s best young players and to celebrate our league and our storied history in one of our longest standing cities.”

The city of Portland and the Cumberland County Civic Center have been home to four Calder Cup championship teams and many outstanding players and coaches since first joining the league in 1977. The Maine Mariners represented Portland from 1977-92; the Pirates will be entering their 17th season in 2009-10, and their second as the proud affiliate of the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres.

In a joint statement, Pirates managing owner/CEO Brian Petrovek and Pirates chairman/governor Lyman G. Bullard Jr. said: “On behalf of our entire Pirates family, we’re honored and privileged to have the opportunity to host this world-class event once again and to collaborate with Cumberland County and the City of Portland to present the region to thousands of guests and to a global television audience in excess of 100 million households. Best of all, what an exciting way for us and our title sponsor, Time Warner Cable, to say ‘thanks’ to our fans and our community, bringing to our region the AHL’s top players, coaches and Hall of Famers to display their skills and share their passion for the game. We’re looking forward to the next 271 days.”

“Time Warner Cable is very pleased to support the Portland Pirates’ effort in securing the 2010 AHL All-Star Classic,” said Keith Burkley, Division President, Time Warner Cable of Maine. “Supporting the local communities we serve is a primary goal of ours and our partnership with the Pirates, who greatly contribute on this front as well, is a natural fit. We look forward to this unique marketing opportunity and to hosting the American Hockey League and its best players in our community next January.”

The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will begin with the annual Skills Competition on Mon., Jan. 18. The 2010 American Hockey League Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place on the afternoon of Tue., Jan. 19, and the 2010 AHL All-Star Game will follow that night. The two days of festivities will also include several other events designed to enhance the fan experience, presented in cooperation with the Portland Downtown District, the Convention & Visitors Bureau of Greater Portland and the Portland Regional Chamber.

The event logo for the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic was also unveiled at the press conference. It can be viewed here.

Tickets for the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic – which include admission to both the 2010 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Jan. 18 and the 2010 AHL All-Star Game on Jan. 19, as well as an official commemorative All-Star Classic event program – will be priced at $49 (rows 1-12 in all sections) and $42 (rows 13-24 in all sections). The Pirates are also offering special rates in rows 13-24 for groups of 25 or more, with tickets priced at $29 for either night or $36 for both.

Portland Pirates season-ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase All-Star Classic tickets before they go on sale to the general public on Sept. 25.

The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will also feature three official social events. An opening reception will take place at the Ocean Gateway Terminal, located on the waterfront just a short distance from the Cumberland County Civic Center; the official post-Skills After-Party will be held at the Holiday Inn by the Bay; and the 2010 AHL Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at Merrill Auditorium. Ticket packages for admission to all three of these events are just $50, or each event can be attended for only $20 apiece (food and beverage included with admission).

For more information on purchasing tickets for the All-Star Classic or social events, visit portlandpirates.com or call (20…, x350. For All-Star sponsorship opportunities, please contact the Portland Pirates office at (207…, x314.

Portland, which hosted the AHL All-Star Classic in 2003, will be joining Rochester, Hershey and Providence as the only cities to host more than one AHL All-Star event in the league’s history. The 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League, competing in the AHL All-Star Skills Competition and the AHL All-Star Game. Of the 488 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Dan Boyle, Daniel Briere, Brian Campbell, Zdeno Chara, Rick DiPietro, Jiri Hudler, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Zach Parise, Bobby Ryan, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Tomas Vokoun.