Some thought it was odd that Nashville was chosen as the host for the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.
But after a wildly successful week, no one is questioning it anymore.
The best that the hockey world has to offer descended on the Music City this past week and delivered an absolute show from start to finish.
There was the ultimate hockey fan experience at Fan Fair. There was the live nightly music that took over Broadway. Then there was the dynamic combo of the NHL Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game itself.
It had it all. The event saw fans come from all over the world to see what Nashville had to offer for the biggest event in hockey, and there’s no doubt that they left with nothing with plenty of positive things to say about the city.
An event like this shows that Nashville is certainly a viable option for hosting events of this magnitude.
While the entire week was filled with fun and excitement, the All-Star Game was the perfect way to cap it all off.
The NHL moved to a new format this season, and instead of simply having the East vs. the West, the event was changed to a 3-on-3 tournament featuring four teams.
To say that this change turned out to be a positive would be a massive understatement.
The Sunday spectacle was much more engaging and offered fans an entirely different dynamic than what they’ve seen over the years.
Of course, it helped that we were treated to one of the most incredible stories in NHL history.
John Scott wasn’t going to be an All-Star, but after fans voted him into the game, we should’ve known that he would do something special.
Scott did just that in scoring two goals in the tournament and ultimately landing the game’s MVP award. The catch? He wasn’t even one of the final three MVP candidates. But the “MVP” chants inside of Bridgestone Arena were enough to sway the league to allow him the honor.
It was without question the most memorable moment of Scott’s NHL career. It was also one of the most memorable moments in Nashville’s sports history.
Hosting a game like this is not easy. There’s a lot that goes into preparing for such a massive event. But Nashville proved that it can more than handle its weight.
The NHL All-Star Week is likely just the first step in Nashville’s journey towards becoming one of the premier places to hold these types of events.
This week showed that hockey is alive and well in the city, but it also showed that the city could easily find itself in the mix for other major games.
Obviously, the one that comes to mind for most is the Super Bowl. It’s an event much larger than the NHL All-Star Game, however, Nashville seems prepared for anything at this point.
It may have been a sporting event, but the entire city benefited from it. Those that made the trek to Music City will never forget the experience. And that goes for the NHL staff and players as well.
Given how tremendous Nashville was in hosting its first NHL All-Star Week, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see it eventually return for yet another great week.