Bakersfield Selected To Host 2011 ECHL All-Star Game
February 18, 2010
PRINCETON, N.J. - The ECHL announced on Thursday that the Bakersfield Condors have been selected to host the 2011 ECHL All-Star Classic which is currently scheduled for January 26, 2011.
The 2010-2011 season will be the 13th season for the Condors, and the 16th season of professional hockey in Bakersfield. This is the first hockey all-star game to come to Bakersfield in the city's history, and believed to be the fourth overall, with the California Baseball League All-Star Game taking place in Bakersfield in 1954, 1959 and 1988.
The Condors have set a standard for minor league sports in attendance and community development, with over 2.5 million fans passing through the turnstiles and over $4 million dollars raised for local charities throughout the years. The Condors have drawn over 200,000 fans nine times in the previous 11 seasons. This season the Condors once again rank in the top 20% of minor league hockey attendance nation-wide, sitting 5th in the ECHL at 5,289 per game, and out-drawing 63 of the 77 minor league hockey teams between the AHL, ECHL, CHL, IHL and SPHL.
This past season, the Condors were represented by five individuals at the 2010 All-Star Game in Ontario, California: G Timo Pielmeier, D Sasha Pokulok, D Eric Regan and LW Shawn Weller, as well as Head Coach Marty Raymond. Two others, RW Dan Sexton and C MacGregor Sharp, were unable to attend as they had been reassigned to the NHL and AHL, respectively.
"We are proud to announce the 2011 ECHL All-Star Classic has been awarded to Bakersfield," said Commissioner Brian McKenna. "The Condors' strong organization, combined with an enthusiastic fan base and outstanding arena, meeting and hotel facilities make Bakersfield an ideal choice to host our annual showcase event."
"This is an event 12 years in the making," said Condors President Matthew Riley. "We are proud to finally bring the ECHL's best into Condorstown and to put our all-star city and all-star fans in front of the rest of the hockey and sports entertainment world. We know this great community will rise to the occasion and we have a lot of work to do to get ready for this, but we're excited to get started, and honored to be the host for next year's event."
The annual midseason showcase is attended by representatives from the National Hockey League and the American Hockey League and it has produced more than 64 players who have gone on to play in the NHL including 36 since 2002 when the format was changed to feature younger prospects.
The past eight ECHL All-Star Games have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy as guests, players, coaches and fans occupy hundreds of hotel rooms and spend three days in the host city.
The All-Star festivities will also include the official induction ceremony for the fourth class of the ECHL Hall of Fame.
The game was available in over 66 million households last year on multiple national and regional networks. The audio broadcast has been carried on XM Satellite Radio as well as being available in all ECHL markets.
The Stanley Cup and the Patrick J. Kelly Cup were both on display throughout the event, marking the 10th time in the last 11 years that the NHL championship trophy and the ECHL championship trophy have been displayed together at the All-Star Game.