"....in a city of major events, sports and otherwise, hockey's All-Star game and accompanying festivities will not even be this week's largest attraction.
That would be the International Poultry Expo, which wraps up a three-day run at the Georgia World Congress Center today. Billed as the world's largest trade show for the poultry and egg industry, it drew an estimated 20,000 and accounted for the booking of 25,000 hotel room nights, according to the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The NHL All-Star Game and related events pale by comparison: about 8,000 out-of-town visitors and 6,700 hotel room nights."
The report goes on to suggest the NHL All Star Game will bring in an estimated $20 million in revenues, compared to $34.3 million for the 2003 NBA All Star Game and $45.2 million for 2007's NCAA Final Four tournament.
Also: "...the All-Stars' visit ranks No. 22 on the ACVB's list of largest events coming to town this year, including conventions and trade shows.
It is far exceeded by events such as the International Gift and Home Furnishings Market, which drew 93,000 to AmericasMart Atlanta earlier this month, and Cheer Sport 2008, which is expected to draw 70,000 to the World Congress Center next month."The report suggest this is partly because of the NHL's insistence to ensure about 10,000 tickets for season ticket holders and locals, most of whom would not be contributing to the local economy in terms of accommodations, transportation, sight seeing etc.
Good on the NHL for making sure the local fans get a chance to check out the festivities.
AJC.com Remembers Atlanta Flames, Eddie Shack
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has some nice pieces touching hockey history this week.
Furman Bisher pays tribute to the players from the Atlanta Flames who never left - players like Boom Boom Geoffrion, Dan Bouchard, Randy Manery, Eric Vail, Tom Lysiak, Greg Fox, Bobby Simpson, Willi Plett and Tim Ecclestone.
Also, Steve Hummer introduces newbies to the NHL's first All Star Game MVP - Eddie "The Entertainer" Shack.
By the way, I have a few of the old Atlanta Flames profiled here at Greatest Hockey Legends:
|Curt Bennett - The first American player to score 30 goals in a NHL season, Bennett's father and two brothers also played in the league.
|Guy Chouinard - Guy Chouinard had a short but spectacular career, most notably with the Atlanta Flames.
|Tom Lysiak - Atlanta Flames and Chicago Blackhawks puck distributing pivot was an underrated player in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
|Phil Myre - A former Montreal back up, Phil Myre teamed with Dan Bouchard to give the Atlanta Flames instant respectability between the pipes.
|Willi Plett - Born in Paraguay, this giant learned to use his incredible size and strength to become one of the most intimidating and ornery players in hockey history.
|Pat Quinn - A mean-spirited defenseman, Pat Quinn became a very successful coach and manager.