NHL commissioner Gary Bettman addresses the media prior to the the 2018 NHL All Star Game

(Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)

Bettman: Not If, It's When St. Louis Will Get An NHL All-Star Game

Bettman says he is just waiting for the right timing

February 08, 2018 - 5:11 pm

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Hear the conversation between the voice of the St. Louis Blues, Chris Kerber, with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman before Thursday's St. Louis Blues game.  

Bettman was with St. Louis media before the game, and started the press conference by saying he "has no announcments" regarding the 2020 NHL All-Star Game, which St. Louis had made a bid on hosting. 

However he did tell the group, as he also told Kerber, it's just a matter of time before St. Louis hosts the All-Star Game – with one condition. 

"If this building, continues on the path that it's on and the 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," Bettman says.

Scottrade Center is in phase one of a three-phase renovation plan. The $150 million upgrades have already included a new video board, new lighting and a new sheet of ice, which includes the ice plant below-ground. There's also a new all-exclusive theatre box seating section, and every seat at Scottrade Center will be replaced as part of furture upgrades over the next two years. 

Also in St. Louis Thursday, was SEC commissioner Greg Sankey, who was getting a similar tour of the Blues arena which will host next month's SEC Men's Basketball Championship Tournament. The dual-visit was not planned, Sankey says he's known for months that he was coming into town, but Bettman's opportunity came up just a few weeks ago. 

Besides Scottrade Center upgrades and the possibility of St. Louis hosting the 2020 or 2021 All-Star Game, he also spoke to media about NHL rules like goaltender interference, the NHL's relationship with the Olympics and the future of the NHL. You can watch all of it from KMOX Sports' Facebook live (which includes the press conference with Sankey): 

Bettman also praised the work done by Blues chairman Tom Stillman, president Chris Zimmerman and the entire ownership group that took over the Blues in 2012. 

"The strength of this franchise has never been greater," Bettman says. "Not 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.

"This is a world-class city with great sports fan, I don't think it's a coincidence that the Cardinals typically lead the league in attendance and this (Blues) franchise as well. They play in a big building with exciting fans and the team's performance reflects the energy that you are seeing here."