(HockeyStL) - The 2013-14 season has only just begun, but already, the National Hockey League has established plans for next season’s All-Star Game. On Saturday, the league made the announcement that the 2015 All-Star Game would be held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus.
The All-Star weekend is currently scheduled for Jan. 24-25, 2015, and is expected to bring in around $12 million in revenue and $50 million in media exposure for Columbus, according to The Greater Columbus Sports Commission.
"The All-Star celebration is a marquee event featuring the best players in the world and the Blue Jackets are thrilled to be able to bring it to Central Ohio for our fans and community," Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell said in a statement.
"Columbus and the arena district offer an unmatched setting for this celebration of hockey and the NHL's commitment to having the event here speaks volumes about the support of our fans and the strength of our market."
Columbus has been slated as the next team to host the All-Star Game since 2013, but last year’s lockout delayed the plans. The shutdown, which lasted into January, forced the NHL to cancel the All-Star Game and its festivities.
The cancellation was a huge blow to Columbus, as the city was sure to benefit not only financially, but also from the publicity the events would bring to the city. It meant Ohio's capital would have to wait two years to host the events, as this year is without an All-Star break due to the Winter Olympics. Instead of converging on any city this year for the All-Star game, players will head to Sochi, Russia for the Olympic Games in February.
The 2015 All-Star Game will be the 60th in the NHL’s history and the first time it will be held in Columbus.
"Columbus is an ideal host city for our All-Star celebration," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "The facilities are first-rate, the Blue Jackets are exciting and entertaining and the fans passionately support their team and our League. Our players, sponsors, media and guests are looking forward to being in Columbus for the All-Star activities."
More information regarding the 2015 All-Star Game and its related events will be released by the league at a later date.