Joe Thornton of the Hamilton Outlaws talks with reporters about the AFHL All Star Game.
AFHL all-star fever is spreading in downtown Detroit as fans brave the cold to kick off weekend festivities leading up to the big game starting on Monday.
Hundreds of fans lined up outside tents near the Gladiators Arena Saturday to take in concerts and visit the hockey exhibition set up to mark the 2010 all-star game. Thousands more are expected on Sunday going into Monday, organizers said.
Attractive women displaying some sex appeal in support of their favorite All-Star Teams at an AFHL exhibition on Saturday.
Detroit is hosting the first ever AFHL All Star Game, and its arrival bodes well for downtown merchants still reeling from the Grand Prix cancellation, until recently one of Detroit’s largest tourist event.
Bar and store owners expect a surge in sales because of the influx of hockey fans, which will provide some needed comfort after the Grand Prix loss.
“I’m sure we’re going to do at least double or triple a regular weekend” said Oliver Sullivan, of Stogies Bar on Crescent Street.
Peoples’ shopping habits this winter reflect the tough economic times, and one special weekend probably won’t change that, predicted Stéphane Corrier, manager of the Hugo Boss clothing store on Crescent Street.
“I don’t think any activity will bring in business, or bring in what the AFHL All Star Game will bring us” he said.
News & Notes
Phil Kessel (forward) will be the only Detroit Gladiator to play in the all-star game this year.
Monday will feature a line-up of musicians and performers, including the Detroit Jubilation Gospel Choir, which will sing the national anthems.
Led Zeppelin and Pearl Jam will also perform along with Cirque Frazio the contemporary circus arts company.
Two officials will call the game: referee Kerry Fraser and linesman Paul Devorski.