City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young helped broker deal to bring pro hockey to downtown Baltimore for first time in 20 years
BALTIMORE, MD – Downtown Baltimore’s restaurants, bars and hotels will experience an economic jolt on Tuesday, September 20, when more than 10,000 hockey fans travel to 1st Mariner Arena for the first National Hockey League game in 20 years. Tickets to the game, billed as the 2011 Baltimore Hockey Classic, are more than 95 percent sold out. The game is expected to have a $1 million economic impact to the local economy, according to the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing.
Tuesday’s NHL exhibition game between the Washington Capitals and Nashville Predators is the brainchild of Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, who began working with the Capitals more than a year ago on an initiative to introduce street hockey to Baltimore recreation centers. The partnership between the Capitals and the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks has been an integral part of the Council President’s P.L.A.Y. (Productive Lives, Active Youth) campaign, which provides city youth with opportunities to strengthen their self-confidence, develop leadership skills, learn from positive role models, and be rewarded athletically for their academic achievements.
“I always believed the Capitals would be a natural fit for Baltimore because our city has such a rich hockey tradition,” said Young, who also noted that both the Capitals and Predators head coaches once were members of the Baltimore Skipjacks. “The Capitals organization has embraced Baltimore’s young people through several hockey-related initiatives I’ve organized. Tuesday’s game is just a continuation of a great public-private partnership.”
Washington Capitals Vice President and General Manager George McPhee said the club views Baltimore as a natural fit for an exhibition game.
“We’re thrilled to bring Washington Capitals hockey to the Baltimore market,” Mr. McPhee said. “Tuesday’s game will help pump revenue into the local economy and serve as a great public-private partnership between the city and the Capitals.”
Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Council President Young will join representatives from the Capitals and 1st Mariner Arena at noon, at Hopkins Place and West Baltimore Street outside the arena for a ceremonial street renaming to commemorate the 2011 Baltimore Hockey Classic.
The game will kickoff at 7 p.m. About 130 students who participated this summer in a street hockey tournament and last fall in an ice hockey clinic were provided free tickets to the game courtesy of the Department of Recreation and Parks.
WHO: Baltimore City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young, representatives from the Washington Capitals and 1st Mariner Arena.
WHAT: A ceremonial street renaming to commemorate the 2011 Baltimore Hockey Classic.
WHEN: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at noon.
WHERE: SE corner of Hopkins Place and West Baltimore Street, outside 1st Mariner Arena.
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