The bumping up of a major niche convention in Pittsburgh lends credence to widespread rumors the city will host the 2012 NHL Draft.
The Penguins are known to be interested in hosting the draft, which would be held at the recently opened Consol Energy Center, but the team has also stated it plans to hold a number of other events in the preceeding week if given the opportunity.
Because of the expansive nature of the planned festivities, the city required the use of its convention center, which had already been booked for June 21 to 24 by Anthrocon, an annual gathering of Furries.
While NHL mascots don’t usually attend the draft, Anthrocon, ironically, is for people who enjoy dressing up in mascot-style costumes, emulating animals. Anthrocon has already announced that their annual convention in Pittsburgh has been moved up a week thanks to amicable negotiations with the city. (The move is also reflected on the convention center's website.)
A post on the Anthrocon website states the group was approached by the city with the scheduling request due to a “very rare opportunity to host an event that they have been wanting to host for many years.”
When contacted by the The Hockey News, a representative from the NHL said in an email: “We have nothing to report on the 2012 Draft other than Pittsburgh was a bid market.”
Messages left with the Penguins were not immediately returned.
Pittsburgh will also host the NCAA Frozen Four tournament in 2013.