By Brian Liu
The 2012 American League All-Star Classic will take place in Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall, the latest step in the relationship between the AHL and the city. In 2010, the Albany Devils played a four-game “homestand” at the convention center.
“The historic Boardwalk Hall will provide an incredible and appropriate backdrop for us to celebrate our league and our sport’s best young players,” said league president David Andrews.
The game will also mark the first time the league’s showcase will be played outside of one of its own markets.
Boardwalk Hall was built in 1929 as the Atlantic City Municipal Auditorium and was designated a national historic landmark in 1987. The state of New Jersey paid for a $90-million renovation of the building in 1998.
The arena is Atlantic City’s most venerable locale, hosting everything from political conventions (Lyndon Johnson won the Democratic nomination there in 1964) to concerts by artists such as the Beatles, Frank Sinatra and the Rolling Stones.
From 1930 to 1952, the Auditorium was home to the Sea Gulls amateur hockey team. The Gulls were crowned as amateur national champions in 1932, sparking talk that they were NHL-caliber. The Rangers beat the upstart Gulls 6-2 in a charity exhibition game the next year, a season in which the Blueshirts claimed Stanley Cup.
The Hall was the home of the ECHL Boardwalk Bullies, until their relocation in 2005, and has strong ties to the NCAA. The stadium has hosted the Atlantic 10 men’s basketball championship since 2007 and will be the site of the Division I ECAC’s championship until 2013.
By Brian Liu