It’s the off-season, which for Blues fans usually means asking questions. Why? Why us? Why can’t we have nice things? Can we please have a nice thing that isn’t the nice thing that we all want? Come on, NHL. It’ll make us feel better.
The Blues got a chance to host the 2017 NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium, and aside from the weather, it was a success. Hot on the heels of that, the Blues started a push for a NHL All Star Game.
The city proved it could handle large festivities when they hosted the 2009 MLB All Star Game. That game and the surrounding events are markedly larger than the NHL’s counterpart, and St. Louis pulled it off well. But the event itself isn’t all about the city, it’s also about the venue. Something that’s held back St. Louis’ bids over the years has been the condition of the Enterprise (neé Scottrade) Center. The renovations last off-season improved the venue. Gary Bettman even seems to be on-board, telling the Post-Dispatch:
“I think it’s fair to say if all the upgrades are completed and the money is put into the building as it needs to be, there will be an All-Star Game here,” he said. “I can’t give you the date, so I’m not making an official announcement or award, but there’s no reason we wouldn’t bring an All-Star Game here. We have some other commitments that we have to make in some other buildings, but if this building continues on the path it’s on and the things are done that need to be done, we’ll be here with an All-Star Game at some point. I don’t have any doubt about that.”
Well, that was non-committal. But still kind of hopeful. So, basically, that was about as Blues of a statement regarding the Blues hosting the All Star Game that Gary Bettman could make. But phase two of the renovations, which include new dining options and new fan areas, are underway. That should move the Enterprise Center forward a bit in Bettman’s consideration.
The other day, a fan asked Jeff Gordon what the odds were for the 2020 NHL All Star Game. He responded that the Blues will keep pushing for one. Of course they will. It’s bonus revenue and a chance to show off some nice new upgrades.
It’s just telling that, for another season, fans are looking to the future again instead of celebrating the present.