Columbus to host All-Star Game in 2013

The Columbus Blue Jackets will host the 2013 edition of the NHL All-Star Game.

Commissioner Gary Bettman made the announcement Saturday at the NHL Board of Governors meetings.

The Blue Jackets, who play in Nationwide Arena, had applied for hosting rights in 2013, 2014 or 2015. Next year’s All-Star weekend will be Jan. 26-27 and will mark the third straight year a city has hosted the game for the first time. Raleigh, NC, home of the Carolina Hurricanes, hosted the game last year and this year’s game is Sunday in Ottawa.

”We’re looking forward to bringing our All-Star celebration to Columbus,” Bettman said. ”The Blue Jackets did a great job of hosting the NHL Draft in 2007, and I have no doubt they will raise the bar even higher when they welcome our All-Star celebration next January.”

It was welcome news for a team that is struggling this season. The Blue Jackets are 13-30-6 with a league-low 32 points. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning (165) have allowed more goals this season than Columbus (163).

”The Blue Jackets are honored to host the 2013 All-Star celebration in Columbus as we believe our city offers a truly unique setting for this special event,” said Blue Jackets majority owner John P. McConnell. ”As much as it is a showcase for the NHL’s best players, it is also a celebration of hockey fans and having it in Columbus is a testament to the fantastic support of our fans and the strength of Central Ohio as a hockey market.”