SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League and the Springfield Thunderbirds on Thursday announced that Lexus, a division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will serve as the title corporate partner for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, which will take place on Jan. 27-28, 2019, at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
“Lexus could not be more thrilled to be a part of the upcoming 2019 AHL All-Star Classic held in Springfield, Massachusetts,” said Jaclyn Lange, District Sales Manager, Eastern Area, Lexus. ”When we learned of this opportunity from the Balise organization, we could not wait to get further involved. The AHL, the Springfield Thunderbirds, and the Balise organization have done so much to help bring their local community together that we felt it aligned perfectly with our brand values of not only building ‘Ever-better Cars’ but also an ‘Ever-better World.’ The revitalization of the Springfield market through these efforts is important to Lexus as is playing a part in the local communities we do business in. We thank these three organizations for the great work they do and for the opportunity to get involved.”
The AHL’s All-Stars will be coming to Springfield for the first time in 60 years for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield. The showcase will begin with the 2019 AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, January 27, pitting players from the two Eastern Conference divisions against those from the two Western Conference divisions in seven skills events, including hardest shot, fastest skater and accuracy shooting.
On Monday, January 28, Springfield will host the 2019 AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, followed by the 2019 AHL All-Star Challenge that evening. In the All-Star Challenge, teams representing each of the league’s four divisions will participate in a round-robin tournament, played at 3-on-3.
“We are thrilled to add Lexus as the title corporate partner for the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic,” said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to working with Lexus and with the Springfield Thunderbirds to deliver outstanding AHL All-Star events for our fans and an international television audience in January.”
As part of the announcement, the AHL and the Thunderbirds unveiled the official logo for the event. The logo reflects elements of the Springfield Thunderbirds, including the gold wings and the T-Birds inspired font. The logo not only recognizes the support of the All-Star Classic’s partners, but also recognizes the city of Springfield as the home of the All-Star Classic, the AHL and the Thunderbirds organization.
“The Springfield Thunderbirds are excited to be partnered with a world-renowned brand in Lexus,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “We want to thank Balise Lexus for their efforts in solidifying this partnership with Lexus on a national level. Their involvement will make the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic an unforgettable spectacle for everyone.”
Balise Lexus of West Springfield was an integral part of the partnership for the AHL All-Star Classic, in addition to being a Springfield Thunderbirds corporate sponsor.
“Balise is proud to partner with Lexus, the Springfield Thunderbirds, and the AHL in this endeavor to make the city we call home a destination, for both entertainment and community,” said Jeb Balise, Owner and C.E.O., Balise Motor Sales. “As an integral part of the City of Springfield since 1919, we are committed to its continuing growth and revitalization.”
The Springfield Thunderbirds are hosting the All-Star Classic in partnership with their presenting sponsor, MGM Springfield.
“We’re overjoyed that Lexus will serve as the title sponsor of the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic at the MassMutual Center,” said Michael Mathis, President and Chief Operating Officer for MGM Springfield. “It’s an exciting time to be in downtown Springfield. As the world’s leading provider of entertainment experiences, we are committed to creating milestone moments that will appeal to everyone and give people more and more reasons to visit the city time and again. Hockey has always been a cornerstone of Springfield’s culture and traditions. We’re honored to stand with the Thunderbirds, Lexus and the American Hockey League in the transformation of Springfield and western Massachusetts as a spectacular entertainment destination for residents, families and visitors.”
Tickets for the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield are priced at $39, $49, $59 and $99, and include admission to both the Skills Competition on Jan. 27 and the All-Star Challenge on Jan. 28. Fans can buy their tickets right now by visiting springfieldthunderbirds.com/allstar.
Springfield Thunderbirds season-ticket members, and fans that would like to become season-ticket members for the 2018-19 season, will have the first opportunity to reserve seating locations by putting down a $50 deposit on a seated plan, with tickets for members discounted by $9. Fans with questions about All-Star Classic tickets can call the Thunderbirds at (413) 739-GOAL (4625).
The 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League: since 1995, more than 94 percent of All-Star Classic participants have gone on to compete in the National Hockey League, including Jake Allen, Patrice Bergeron, Ben Bishop, Ryan Callahan, Zdeno Chara, Logan Couture, Connor Hellebuyck, Braden Holtby, Tyler Johnson, Martin Jones, Jonathan Marchessault, Zach Parise, Tuukka Rask, Pekka Rinne, Bobby Ryan, Cory Schneider, Jason Spezza, P.K. Subban and Mats Zuccarello.
In operation since 1936, the American Hockey League serves as the top development league for the players, coaches, managers, executives, broadcasters and staff of all 31 National Hockey League teams. More than 87 percent of today’s NHL players are American Hockey League graduates, and more than 100 honored members of the Hockey Hall of Fame spent time in the AHL in their careers. In 2017-18, over 6 million fans attended AHL regular-season and playoff games across North America for the 17th year in a row.