NEW YORK - The National Hockey League today announced the selection of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the city of Tampa as hosts of the 2018 NHL® All-Star. The League's mid-season showcase will take place at AMALIE Arena on Saturday, January 27 and Sunday, January 28 and will include the NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL® All-Star Game.
The 2018 NHL All-Star returns to a 3-on-3 tournament format after successful games in Nashville (2016) and Los Angeles (2017). Under the tournament rules, the NHL All-Star Game will be divided into three 20-minute games, with star players from each NHL division making up the four All-Star teams: Pacific, Central, Atlantic, and Metropolitan.
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"We are looking forward to bringing the 2018 NHL All-Star celebration to the Tampa Bay area," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "In addition to the events on the ice, we're planning outside activities which will embrace the Tampa Bay community and Gasparilla events -- as well as the Florida sunshine. We know Jeff Vinik, the Lightning and AMALIE Arena will be outstanding hosts as the NHL family gathers for our mid-season showcase."
"We are thrilled to host the 2018 NHL All-Star Game at AMALIE Arena," said Jeff Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Tampa Bay Lightning. "We've worked hard over the past several years to transform Tampa Bay into a hockey market. The honor of hosting the All-Star game validates that work, but it's not the end of our efforts. We pledge to work alongside the NHL as well as leaders across Tampa Bay to deliver a world class experience for All-Star players, fans and partners."
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Since purchasing the Lightning in March 2010, Jeff Vinik has spearheaded a complete brand and business transformation on and off the ice in Tampa, including nearly $90 million in improvements for AMALIE Arena, an investment of $13 million in local charities through the Lightning Community Heroes program, nearly tripling its season ticket member base (to more than 14,000) along with three Eastern Conference Final appearances and a trip to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final.
"Tampa's a world class destination that hosts events on the international stage better than anyone and there's no better city to host the NHL All-Star game in America," said Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "Whether you're attending a concert at Curtis Hixon Park, taking in the views of the city by water taxi or crossing the bay for some fun in the sand, there's something for everyone. Where's better than a hockey town with palm trees?"
The 2018 NHL® All-Star Game will mark the second time Tampa will host the event. The Lightning and Tampa previously hosted the NHL All-Star game in 1999, successfully welcoming thousands of NHL fans, executives and personalities to the city. Further details on 2018 NHL All-Star festivities, including ticket information, special events and television broadcasting information will be released at a later date.