As most probably know by now, NHL Commissioner, Gary Bettman toured Scottrade yesterday, February 8th. The purpose of the tour is a little smoke and mirrors right now, but there was much talk of an All-Star Game (ASG) coming to St. Louis during his interview with Chris Kerber and also during the press conference. The St. Louis Blues organization already has a bid in for the 2020 NHL ASG. Bettman had no comments as to which city will be awarded the 2020 ASG, but he did say “[i]f this building, continues on the path that it’s on and things are done that need to be done, we’ll be here with an All-Star Game, I don’t have any doubt about that”.
The path that Bettman alluded to, is the current renovation plans that are already underway and should be done by 2020. This year, when you walk into Scottrade, The Kiel Center, the house that Hullie built, you immediately start to notice the differences in the renovations. The bathrooms are shiny again (even with a tray above the urinals to hold your beer), there’s new concession vendors, there’s a giant, new jumbo-tron, there’s a new sound system, and lastly, but probably not noticeable to the fans, there’s a new, state of the art refrigeration system under the ice to keep ice conditions perfect for NHL quality.
Bettman also praised the current Blues ownership group lead by Tom Stillman, saying that “[t]he strength of this franchise has never been greater” and that “[n]ot just the franchise itself or its competitiveness on the ice, but its roots in the community, the stability, the ability to have the resources for success”. Then Bettman went on to comment about how the team’s in St. Louis, as a whole, are always competitive as a reflection of the fan bases consistently showing up and bringing good energy to the stadiums. He almost makes the city sound like one giant juggernaut of sports fandom. I think Bettman is still trying to get out of the lockout doghouse by dumping ice cream on us, but hey, that’s just like, my opinion, man. Either way, it all sounds good to me for the possibility of an ASG coming to town.