The National Hockey League announced on Monday that the 2018 NHL All Star Game will take place at AMALIE Arena in Tampa, Florida on January 28, 2018.
The league’s midseason classic will again feature a three-on-three tournament between the four conferences for the third season in a row. The NHL Skills Competition will take place on Saturday, January 27 with the All-Star Tournament being played on Sunday, January 28.
The league had success with the previous two all-star games, in Los Angeles, California in 2016 and Nashville, Tennessee last season, using the same format. Like in those two games, the 2018 NHL All-Star Game will be divided into three 20-minute mini games of three-on-three action.
All-Stars from the Atlantic, Pacific, Metropolitan and Central Divisions will face off against each in the first two periods. The two winning divisions will then battle it out in the third period for the bragging rights of All-Star Game Champion.
Commissioner, Gary Bettman said, “We are looking to bring the 2018 All-Star Game celebration to the Tampa Bay area. In addition to the events on the ice, we are planning outside activities which will embrace the Tampa Bay community and Gasparilla events, as well as the Florida sunshine. Wed know Jeff Vinik, the Lightning and AMALIE Arena will be outstanding hosts as the NHL family gathers for our midseason showcase.”
Vinik, Chairman and Governor of the Lightning added, “We are thrilled to host the 2018 NHL All Star Game at AMALIE Arena. We have worked hard over the past several years to transform Tampa Bay into a hockey market. The honor of hosting the all-star game validates that work, but it is not the end of our efforts. We pledge to work alongside the NHL as well as leaders across Tampa Bay to deliver a world class experience for All-Star players, fans and partners.”
Vinik purchase the Lightning in March of 2010 and since that time, has spearheaded a complete brand and business transformation, in the Tampa area, both on and off the ice. Some of those transformations include a 90-million-dollar investment into improvements of AMALIE Arena as well as 13 million donated to local charitable organizations through the Lightning Community Heroes program.
The team has nearly tripled its season ticket base, to almost 14,000 and has made three trips to the Eastern Conference Finals and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final (2015) in the last seven years.
Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn said, “Tampa is a world class destination that hosts events on the national stage better than anyone and there is no better city to host the NHL All-Star Game in America. Whether you are attending a concert at Curtis Hixon Park, taking in the views of the city by water taxi or crossing the bay for some fun in the sand, there is something for everyone. What is better than a hockey town with palm trees?”
The 2018 game will mark the second time that it will be played on the Gulf Coast. The Bolts also hosted the 1999 NHL All-Star game. The NHL will release more details on the event, from ticket information to fan events and festivities, as the 2017-2018 season draws closer.