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The Unofficial Guide to NHL All-Star Weekend

After years of waiting, the NHL All-Star Game finally arrives in Columbus on Sunday, January 25. The Arena District will be filled with all kinds of spectacles and festivities during the days leading up to the big event—an NHL-sized outdoor skating rink with bleacher seating and four heated locker rooms, an NHL Fan Fair festival at the Greater Columbus Convention Center, and a 34-feet tall, 175-feet long snow slide running down Nationwide Boulevard, all of it draped in an additional 350,000 lights to illuminate the entire district. In addition to the official activities and attractions, we’ve compiled a list of things to do and not to do if you plan to attend the All-Star revelry.


Learn how to pronounce “Zemgus Girgensons,” a forward from the Buffalo Sabres and the current leader in fan votes.

Visit Char Bar, the celebrated Arena District hole-in-the-wall. Cons: It’s crowded, dive-y, drunken, and the Long Islands are $9. Pros: It’s crowded, dive-y, drunken, and you only need one.

Check out the skills competition on Saturday, January 24. Like the NFL combine, but interesting. And on ice.

Bet the over. Since 1990, the average score of the NHL All-Star Game is 10-7. A team once scored 12 goals…and lost.

Vote for your favorite Blue Jacket. Sergei Bobrovski is the highest-ranked Blue Jacket at No. 37 in the overall voting, ninth among goalies. Vote at allstarvote.nhl.com.


Yell at the refs. Sure it’s fun, but the rules barely matter during All-Star games in any sport, and in the violent, injury-filled NHL, the players have an unspoken agreement not to ruin each others’ careers with cheap shots and fights during their belated version of a company Christmas party.

Count on parking anywhere near the arena. Duh.

Lick a frozen pole. Not really specific to these events, just generally good advice.

Talk to Sidney Crosby. He will give you mumps. Also, you will be talking to Sidney Crosby, and he’s just the worst.