Gary Bettman: NHL All-Star Game will return to Detroit

The Detroit News,

Detroit — The NHL All-Star Game is coming back to Detroit. We just don’t know when.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, in an interview on the “Stoney and Jamie” show on 97.1 The Ticket on Monday morning, said the league probably will wait until all the construction around the new Little Caesars Arena and the surrounding “District Detroit” is completed.

“We’re gonna wait until everything is up and running,” Bettman said. “I defintely see league events in the future and we’ve had preliminary discussions. We haven’t nailed down a date, but we want to make sure that everything, that the vision around the building and all the construction, that has to be done and completed so that everybody we bring to Detroit for the celebration will see the full experience and the full vision that Mike and Marian Ilitch have had for Detroit.”

Mike Ilitch died Friday at the age of 87, months before Little Caesars Arena is to open as the new home of the Red Wings and the Pistons.

“It’s gonna be remarkable,” Bettman said. “Think about what they’ve done in downtown Detroit in the last 20 years, when nobody was doing that type of investing.”

The Red Wings haven’t hosted an NHL All-Star Game since 1980, a year after Joe Louis Arena opened. Sites for all future NHL All-Star Games remain to be determined.

Bettman said he plans at least one more trip to The Joe.

“Listen, it’s past its due date, we can acknowledged,” Bettman said. “But there are so many great memories and so many special times that took place there. The building deserves the respect and the admiration that we all have for it.”