The rumblings I had heard within the organization were confirmed by a Kings spokesperson on Saturday: the Los Angeles Kings have put in a bid to host the 2017 All-Star Game.
This year’s All-Star Game will be held in Nashville on January 31, 2016, with the skills competition held one day earlier on January 30. As of now, there is no word on which other teams have put in a bid or are considering a bid, or when the 2017 All-Star Game host city will be announced. Los Angeles last hosted the All-Star Game in 2002, when the World All-Stars defeated the North America All-Stars 8-5 in the final World versus North America format. Eric Daze was named the game’s MVP despite North America’s losing effort. The Kings also hosted the 1981 All-Star Game.
From my understanding in discussing this with team sources, the Kings feel as though they will have a very strong claim for the 2017 All-Star Game, which will occur during the club’s 50th NHL season (and also the 50th seasons of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, St. Louis Blues and Dallas Stars, who relocated from Minnesota). According to the team spokesman who confirmed the news, the Kings’ game operations, social media campaign and business structure are all viewed in very positive lights, and that the team has won multiple Stanley Cups in recent years and plays in the second largest media market in North America doesn’t exactly hurt the cause. The Toronto Maple Leafs will also celebrate their 100th season in the NHL in 2016-17, for what it’s worth.
Other than the 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup Finals, the last large-scale league event hosted by Los Angeles was the 2010 NHL Draft.
More to come on this developing story in the coming months…