WICHITA, Kan. – The City of Wichita has seen a significant resurgence in the regional and national landscape over the last five years; a new triple-A baseball team coming to Wichita and baseball stadium is about to built, the NCAA men’s and women’s basketball tournaments have been and will be at INTRUST Bank Arena, and the downtown area has been revitalized.
That resurgence continued Friday, when members from the ECHL, Visit Wichita, and INTRUST Bank Arena announced the Wichita Thunder have been selected as hosts for the 2020 ECHL All-Star Classic. The 2020 ECHL Hall of Fame induction ceremony & All-Star Classic will be played on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. The Thunder will also host the ECHL All-Star Fanfest on Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
It will be the first time in Wichita hockey history they have hosted an all-star event.
“We are very excited to bring the ECHL’s signature event to Wichita and the Thunder fans,” said ECHL Commissioner Ryan Crelin. “This showcase is more than just an opportunity to highlight our players, but also recognize the history of hockey in our league and celebrate the Thunder’s impact on the community of Wichita.”
Wichita Thunder announcement https://t.co/QOwTIQMN2u
— Matthew Harding (@SinBinThunder) December 7, 2018
“We are honored to be the host city of the 2020 ECHL All-Star Classic,” said Thunder general manager Joel Lomurno. “There are many talented players in the ECHL, and it’s exciting to not only host such talent on our home rink, but to also provide such an unique opportunity to for our community to witness this level of skill first hand.”
The 2020 All-Star Classic will be the 25th mid-season event in the ECHL’s 32-year history. While the format for the event has yet to be decided, the format for the last two all-star classics has been bracket-style, three-on-three games among all-stars. More precisely, The format for this year’s game to be held in Toledo, Ohio is one where the host team will ice two teams and take on all-stars from the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Additionally, Indianapolis and Toledo have had fanfest events which have included exhibits featuring trophies from the Hockey Hall of Fame, including the Stanley Cup, live music, and games designed for fan-engagement. Also, the game has been broadcast on the NHL Network since the event’s resurgence in 2016.
The event is attended by representatives from the National Hockey League, American Hockey League as well as the best from the ECHL. Previous ECHL All-Star Classics have generated more than $1 million each for the local economy.