For the first time in decades, Springfield hosted the AHL All-Star Classic last month and downtown businesses saw big benefits.
The AHL All-Star Classic brought thousands of people to Springfield two weeks ago. Visitors came all the way from Canada to watch the hockey tournament.
MGM Springfield said the hotel was sold out Sunday and Monday and local businesses and restaurants in the area saw heavy foot traffic and a lot of people spending a lot of money.
Mary Kay Wydra, President of the Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, told 22News, “In terms of economic impact, we had projected about $2.8 million and looking at the room pick up and everything we stand by the number and that’s a big one for us. $2.8 is a big number.”
The two-day event was a success for the city of Springfield. The large crowd brought the area downtown to life on the usually quiet nights of Sunday and Monday.
Nadim Kashouh, Owner of Nadim’s, said, “We did turnover quite a few people, we probably ran about 400-450 over the two days which is a fantastic number for us being we seat 100 people in the restaurant.”
The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited to bring more events to the region.
The 21st annual New England sled hockey tournament is in April, and the Massachusetts professional firefighters association is holding their annual meeting at the MassMutual Center in June.
Both of those events are expected to bring thousands of people to downtown Springfield.