SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Springfield Thunderbirds, proud hosts of the 2019 Lexus AHL All-Star Classic presented by MGM Springfield, are excited to announce further information surrounding the events taking place during the AHL All-Star Classic on Sunday, Jan. 27 and Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.
The two-day event is highlighted by the AHL All-Star Skills Competition on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. and the AHL All-Star Challenge, a 3-on-3 round robin tournament between the league’s four divisions taking place on Monday, Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. Both events will take place at the MassMutual Center and will be televised live on NHL Network in the United States and Sportsnet ONE in Canada, but the weekend will kick off for hockey fans well before the professionals lace up their skates.
The action ramps up in downtown Springfield beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 27 as the general public is invited to join mascots from across the AHL for a public ice skating session at the Ice Rink at MGM Plaza. Located within the MGM Springfield complex, the ice rink, which opened November 23, welcomes guests of all ages for pop-up entertainment for the entire family.
Following the conclusion of the AHL All-Star Skills Competition, fans with All-Star Classic tickets will have the opportunity to attend a Post-Skills Party from 9:00 p.m. until midnight across the street at MGM Springfield’s Bellagio Ballroom. This will provide All-Star Classic ticket holders with a unique opportunity to mingle with the All-Stars and other hockey VIPs from across the league. There will be a cash bar and band that evening, and space will be limited (this event is a first-come, first-served event, and you must be registered in advance to obtain entry). To secure entry to this event, please RSVP here.
“In hosting the AHL All-Star Classic, we’re delivering on our commitment to bringing world-class sporting events and entertainment to downtown Springfield,” said Michael Mathis, President & COO, MGM Springfield. “Hockey has always been a cornerstone of Springfield’s culture and traditions. We’re honored to celebrate with the Thunderbirds during this momentous occasion and look forward to welcoming the sport’s most prolific and inspiring to the city later this month.”
On Monday morning, Jan. 28, select All-Star representatives will be making a private visit to the Baystate Children’s Hospital in Springfield beginning at 9:30 a.m. to meet and greet pediatric patients. This annual tradition showcases the All-Star participants not just for their stardom on the ice, but for their dedication to the community outside the walls of the rink.
The events continue with the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony, which will take place inside MGM Springfield’s Aria Ballroom. This year’s AHL Hall of Fame class includes John Anderson, Don Cherry, Murray Eaves and Brad Smyth, and the ceremony will also recognize this year’s All-Star honorary captains: longtime Springfield Falcons star Rob Murray and current Florida Panthers Senior Vice President of Business Operations Shawn Thornton. Doors will open at 10:15 a.m. and the event will kick-off at 11:00. Tickets for the AHL Hall of Fame Induction and Awards Ceremony will be complimentary on a first-come, first-served basis. Fans with All-Star Classic tickets will get priority access to the ceremony. To reserve your tickets today, please click here.
For a second straight day, the AHL mascots will host a public ice skating session at the MGM Springfield outdoor rink, this time from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., before the action moves over to the MassMutual Center for the start of the AHL All-Star Challenge at 7:00 p.m.
“The All-Star Classic weekend – from the events on the ice to the interactive activities with our All-Star players and mascots – will be a truly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our dedicated fans,” said Thunderbirds President Nathan Costa. “We are so honored to be able to represent our city and this community for what should be an unforgettable weekend in Springfield.”
MGM Springfield covers three city blocks in the heart of downtown Springfield, Mass. Creating 3,000 permanent jobs and igniting a cultural and economic renaissance in a historic New England city, the resort, which combines new construction with revived historic buildings, offers more than 125,000 square feet of gaming space, a 250-room boutique hotel on Main Street, superior spa services, diverse retail and inspired dining headlined by award-winning Chef Michael Mina’s Cal Mare. MGM Springfield also features the seven-screen Regal luxury cinema complex, bowling lanes, a seasonal skating rink and outdoor marketplace displaying local art, events and talent. MGM Springfield opened on August 24, 2018. For additional information, please visit www.mgmspringfield.com.
A full schedule of events can be found below:
Sunday, January 27, 2019
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM Skate with AHL Mascots (Ice Rink at MGM Plaza)
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM AHL All-Star Skills Competition (MassMutual Center)
9:00 PM – 12:00 AM Post-Skills Party (Bellagio Ballroom, MGM Springfield)
Monday, January 28, 2019
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM All-Star Players Visit to Baystate Children’s Hospital
11:00 AM – 12:30 PM AHL Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Aria Ballroom, MGM Springfield)
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM Skate with AHL Mascots (Ice Rink at MGM Plaza)
7:00 PM – 10:00 PM AHL All-Star Challenge (MassMutual Center)