National spotlight on Raleigh with NHL All-Star game

January 31, 2011 6:03:03 AM PST
After waiting years for the NHL All-Star game to come to Raleigh, league officials and fans alike said it was worth the wait.

Over the weekend, Raleigh played host to a number of successful events for hockey fans from around the world.

There was a three day fan festival at the convention center, a free outdoor celebration on Fayetteville Street, a skills competition and the game itself for fans to enjoy.

Most who took part left with a good impression of Raleigh.

“Simply terrific,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said, “This is a community that knows its sports, is enthusiastic about it, and we’ve just had a great weekend. The hospitality has been phenomenal.”

‘Canes fan Ami Claxton said, “If you look back to 1997 and now we are like 13 to 14 years later and finally having an all-star game. I’m delighted the weather is nice. It’s really great that we can show off our southern hospitality with our southern weather.”

The NHL All-Star game is also being called a huge success by downtown businesses. Most downtown hotels and restaurants report much higher than average traffic.

No word on when the NHL All-Star game might return to Raleigh. The game will be played in Ottawa next year.

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