GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Phoenix Coyotes were chosen Saturday to host the 2006 NHL All-Star game at their home arena that opened in December.
"For the incredible hockey fans of Arizona, it's about to pay
off," NHL vice president Frank Supovitz said during the first
intermission of Phoenix's season finale against the Chicago Blackhawks.
The game will be the centerpiece of the Jan. 28-29, 2006,
weekend, that also includes an All-Star skills competition, a
YoungStars game and an interactive hockey theme park.
"It's the best players in the entire world playing here for an
entire weekend," said Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who played in
his first All-Star game this year in St. Paul, Minn.
"It's not just a one-game thing," Doan said. "The characters
that you have around the arena and the city, it's pretty amazing."
The 2005 All-Star weekend is expected to inject $15 million to
$18 million into Atlanta's economy, and the Phoenix area
anticipates a similar boost from 7,000 out-of-town guests.
That would be a boon for Glendale city, which put up $180
million in public money to complete the $220 million building.
If the 2005 season is lost to a lockout, the Coyotes would still
host the 2006 All-Star game, Supovitz said.
The last All-Star game staged by a major league in the Phoenix
area was the 1995 NBA game at America West Arena, the Coyotes' home
from October 1996 until the Glendale Arena staged its first game on
The franchise lost millions because of the basketball-specific
design of America West and the fact the Coyotes were tenants of the
Phoenix Suns, who controlled all advertising, parking and other