Ten years after they hosted a successful NHL all-star game - and floated the idea of making Toronto its permanent home - the Maple Leafs are re-launching a strong bid.
The Leafs hope to land either the 2012 or 2013 all-star weekend for the Air Canada Centre, with 2014 up in the air because of the NHL’s uncertainty with going to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
“We’ve developed a very strong proposal that reflects making this NHL weekend event into the ultimate sports experience, and we’re confident that hockey fans and Torontonians share our desire,” Bob Hunter, executive vice-president of venues for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd, said in a release on Thursday. “An important aspect of our bid is creating a legacy that continues to support the growth of hockey in our city for generations to come.”
That would include upgrading more local rinks, on top of the $1.2 million MLSEL committed thus far for 13 facilities.
Hunter also pointed out the tourist boom that hosting the game and the festivities would provide, with estimates of generating around $100 million. The ACC itself has undergone millions of dollars in renovations since 2000.
The NHL is expected to announce the host cities of the 2012 and 2013 games in a couple of months. The Leafs are also bidding for the 2011 draft and want consideration to host the 2012 Winter Classic at BMO Field.
It might be a good idea to save the oppurtunity to host the draft for a year where you have your first round pick.
agreed. ( what is MLSE thinking? on top of that, the 2011 draft is supposed to suck with no superstars) I much rather have a winter classic then the draft+nhl all star game, but the winter classic wont come to canada for a while because the nhl uses the winter classic to improve the fan base of hockey in america.
Especially since canada is a winter country, it kind off sucks that we wont get to host the winter classic for a while.
I'd rather host the draft on a year that we have a first round pick. Hosting the Winter Classic would be awesome though.
Pretty much going to be the consensus regarding the draft. As for the WC, it would be nice, but the NHL won't let it come to Canada given the success it's having in the States and the need to promote the game. Plus, they wouldn't put it in a venue where there's less seats available than spectators at a Thrashers game. There's just no way anyone would be happy with that in the business end.
Our best chance to host a Winter Classic is if we land an NFL team. That way, we'd likely have an outdoor stadium built for that team, which would allow for a legit outdoor game of hockey.