Maple Leafs to host 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend
It's been nearly a quarter-century since Toronto, one of the league's biggest markets, has hosted the NHL All-Star Game.
The NHL All-Star Game is headed north of the border next season for the first time since 2012.
Ahead of Saturday’s All-Star Game in Sunrise, Fla., commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that Toronto will be the host city for the 2024 All-Star festivities. The Maple Leafs will hold the event for the ninth time in franchise history and the first since 2000.
The Ottawa Senators were the last Canadian franchise to host an All-Star Game, held at Scotiabank Place (now the Canadian Tire Centre) more than 10 years ago.
The @MapleLeafs will host the 2024 Honda #NHLAllStar Weekend at Scotiabank Arena (Feb. 2-3, 2024).
Toronto will host All-Star festivities for the first time since 2000, ninth time overall & third time in the NHL’s expansion era (since 1967-68). Details: https://t.co/Re2ZMLDbSl pic.twitter.com/h9HK5rxvFr
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) February 4, 2023
“We are thrilled to bring the Honda NHL All-Star Game back to Toronto for the ninth time, and to shine a spotlight on our current stars in a setting that evokes over a century of league history,” Bettman said. “Toronto fans are among the most knowledgeable and passionate in our game and the city’s rich hockey history dates back to the creation of the sport.
“What better place to play host to our annual midseason celebration of the best and brightest in the NHL?”
Six of the previous seven All-Star events have been held in warm-temperature destinations, including this season’s festivities. But that will change when the sport’s top skaters travel to Canada next winter.
Maple Leaf Gardens played host for the first unofficial All-Star Game in 1934, acting as a fundraiser for injured forward Ace Bailey. The franchise also hosted the first official best-on-best contest 13 years later.
“We are excited and honoured to announce the 2024 NHL All-Star Weekend in Toronto,” said Maple Leafs President and Alternate Governor Brendan Shanahan. “We very much look forward to welcoming the game’s biggest stars and treating our fans — and fans from around the world — to a premiere event that showcases all of what Toronto has to offer.”
Toronto was supposed to be one of the hosts for the proposed 2024 World Cup of Hockey, but the NHL and NHLPA delayed the tournament until at least 2025 in November. Instead, the city will be the centre of attention during the two-day event next February.
Some players probably won't be thrilled about spending their All-Star break in a winter destination, but that doesn’t apply to Mitch Marner, who’ll be happy to introduce the league’s top skaters to Toronto’s hottest dining spots.
"I'm sure Toronto will love that," Marner told reporters Friday. "It's a city that loves the game of hockey and would love to have that come to their city.
The Raptors were the last professional sports franchise to host an All-Star Game in Toronto, which took place during the 2015-16 campaign. The Blue Jays are among the potential bidders to host MLB’s 2027 All-Star Game.
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