Lost in the drama of the Blues’ sad 5-1 opening night loss was the appearance of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman. Bettman was in town for opening night to check out the Blues’ new practice facility in Maryland Heights as well as to see the renovations to the Enterprise Center. It had long been argued that an out-of-date arena was holding the team back from hosting NHL events other than the 2017 Winter Classic, which was held at Busch Stadium.
Bettman was impressed with the Winter Classic, and according to the Post-Dispatch, he was impressed with the renovations to the Enterprise Center. Tom Stillman and his ownership group would love to bring the All Star Game to St. Louis, which hasn’t hosted it since 1988.
Despite being impressed with the new Enterprise Center, Bettman hedged when mentioning any possible date for an upcoming All Star Game. When are we getting it? In the future, apparently.
“At some point, we could and should and would host an All-Star Game here,” he said prior to the game. “I just don’t have a date or a time frame based on other commitments.”
He added: “I wouldn’t anticipate an All-Star Game here next year.”
“I know there’s interest and we’ll figure out at some point how to deal with that interest,” he said. “We have a number of commitments that we haven’t announced yet … but I can see bringing another major event here.”
The Blues have a bid in for 2020 and 2021, but Bettman’s “not next year” comment means that the ASG bid for 2020 is out. So, maybe, in two and a half years, St. Louis will host their first All Star Game in 33.
Or maybe not. Maybe St. Louis will just wind up with the NHL Draft.