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.