For six months fans of the Indy Fuel, Indy’s minor league hockey team, part of the East Coast Hockey League, and farm team for the Chicago Blackhawks, were promised a special announcement. On Jan. 20 that announcement was finally made.
With excitement and curiosity filling the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, Sean Hallett, CEO of the Indy Fuel, took to the ice to announce that Indianapolis would be the host of the 2018 ECHL All-Star Classic.
The coliseum cheered and burst into applause as fans were ecstatic that they were going to get to witness and be a part of the event. The all-star game experience isn't something everyone gets to be a part of every year. With the Fuel only being in their third year of existence many fans were extremely pleased and honored to be able to have their team and city be hosts to such an important and exciting event..
Jeff Kennedy, Fuel fan for three years and loyal season ticket holder said he will definitely be attending the festivities as well as the game itself.
“I plan to take the whole day off of work, hoping that they will have a lot of pregame activities as well as historical displays,” Kennedy said. “This could be a once in a lifetime event for not just the team but also the city, and missing out on it is not an option.” When asked what he is most looking forward to as a fan of the game, “getting to see all of the talent the ECHL has to offer on the ice at once, along with getting to meet different fans from all over the country.”
The fans cannot wait to experience their city hosting this special event. Indy has always been a hockey town, Indianapolis has been the home for hockey teams such as; the Indianapolis Chiefs, the Capitals, the Checkers, the Racers, the Ice, and now the Fuel. It has been home to players such as Wayne Gretzky who wore an Indianapolis Checkers jersey early in his legendary career, and Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Scott Darling who manned the goal for the Indiana Ice in 2007-2008.
Indy definitely sports the pedigree and history to host such an event, and Hallett couldn't agree more.
“This is a good chance after two years to show off our venue to other teams and fans, and bring the spotlight to Indianapolis. We want to also treat our own fans who have always been supportive and loyal to Indianapolis hockey,” Hallet said.
The all-star game will also have a positive impact on the city of Indy when it comes to financial gain. Hallett states “The ECHL All-star game usually has a million dollar impact on a city, if not a little more.People will come in and buy hotel rooms, eat at restaurants, all while enjoying the week’s festivities.” When asked what he was most excited for, he simply said “putting on a show for not just our fans, but the fans of every other team in the ECHL.”