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‘An ideal location': Nashville officially named ’16 All-Star Game host

Minnesota Wild v Nashville Predators

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 8: Fans get a close look and an autograph from Mike Fisher #12 of the Nashville Predators as he arrives for the home opener against of the Minnesota Wild at Bridgestone Arena on October 8, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHLI via Getty Images

On Friday, the NHL confirmed earlier reports by announcing the city of Nashville and Bridgestone Arena would officially host the 2016 NHL All-Star Game.

From the league:

The League’s mid-season showcase will take place Saturday, January 30 and Sunday, January 31 and will include the Honda NHL All-Star Skills Competition™ and the NHL® All-Star Game.

“Nashville knows how to showcase stars, put on great events and deliver first-rate entertainment and is a great place to visit. So where better to host our 2016 All-Star Celebration than in Nashville?” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The spotlight will shine on our All-Star players and on the wonderful connection that has developed between Music City and hockey. Without question, Nashville is an ideal location for all the All-Star fun and excitement.”

The 2016 NHL All-Star Game will mark the first time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Nashville. The Predators and Nashville previously hosted an NHL signature event, successfully welcoming thousands of NHL fans, executives and personalities to the city for the 2003 NHL Draft™. Bridgestone Arena has the distinction of being one of the busiest venues in the U.S. since the doors first opened in 1996, hosting more than 13 million guests during that time.

Columbus will host this year’s ASG, meaning the NHL will have back-to-back All-Star Games -- something of a rarity over the last 10 years:

2005: Canceled due to lockout
2006: No game due to Winter Olympics in Turin
2007: Game held in Dallas
2008: Game held in Atlanta
2009: Game held in Montreal
2010: No game due to Winter Olympics in Vancouver
2011: Game held in Carolina
2012: Game held in Ottawa
2013: Canceled due to lockout
2014: No game due to Winter Olympics in Sochi
2015: Game held in Columbus
2016: Game held in Nashville