NEW YORK – The National Hockey League was honored tonight as the Sports League of the Year by the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. The award was presented at a special ceremony held at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan.
The NHL was recognized as part of the Sports Business Awards program, presented by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, the two leading publications on the business of sports. The Sports Business Awards recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the sports industry for 2010.
"In 2010, more people than ever found more reasons than ever -- and more ways than ever -- to connect with our great game and our outstanding athletes," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "On behalf of the teams, the League staff and all who contributed to the achievement, the National Hockey League is pleased to accept this acknowledgement of a memorable year."
The NHL was chosen from five nominees for Sports League of the Year including, in alphabetical order, Major League Soccer, the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Award caps an amazing year for the NHL, both on and off the ice. The League leveraged its big event and digital media strategy to achieve significant revenue growth for the fourth consecutive year, breaking records in TV ratings, merchandise sales and traffic to NHL.com.
It's really exciting. I'm pretty sure that when I play my first game I'm going to be emotional. To be back on the ice playing a game, being in game situations, with all the routines and rituals I do before games and during the game, I feel like I'm going to be emotional. I'm going to be really happy.
— Canadiens forward Tim Bozon on playing for the first time since his life-threatening illness