The Kontinental Hockey League is pleased to announce that the city of Ufa, capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan and home of HC Salavat Yulaev, has been selected to host the 2017 All-Star Game.
The news was announced on Thursday while the city staged the Hockey in our Hearts festival, an event featuring over a thousand participants of Bashkir hockey, from children’s, juniors and women’s teams to players from Salavat Yulaev, and the agreement was made official with the signatures of Republic of Bashkortostan President Rustem Khamitov, KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko and HC Salavat Yulaev General Director Valery Nurutdinov..
The city beat rival bids from Astana, Vladivostok and Togliatti to emerge victorious from the selection process, which included an online vote by hockey fans and strict assessments by a commission of specialists at the KHL. Ufa is the seventh city to host the event, and the second most eastern (after Chelyabinsk, 2013).
Mr. Khamitov gave his reaction: “The All-Star Game will be held here, in Ufa, in January of 2017 and we intend to stage a week-long festival of hockey culminating in the big event. The organization and entertainment will be first class, and it will be a fine way to start 2017.”
Mr. Chernyshenko added: “Based on our experience of staging major events to the highest international and Olympic standards, we have agreed that Ufa deserves to host the KHL All-Star Game. The agreement comprises several demands and obligations, and we are confident that the city will meet these in full and that one of the biggest events of our season will be conducted at the highest organizational level. The city of Ufa, with such a strong hockey tradition, will be a great place to hold this star-studded show, and I’m sure fans from many different cities and countries will gather here next January.”
Mr. Nurutdinov also reacted in upbeat mood, “Staging the KHL All-Star Game at our home stadium, the Ufa-Arena, is a huge responsibility for the club. We promise the people of our Republic and the entire hockey community that we will make every effort to ensure this festival will be a success. It is a great honor and a great challenge, but we are fully capable of meeting such a challenge and I hope the All-Star Game in Ufa will be an unforgettable experience for everyone.”