Thousands of fans flock to San Jose for NHL All Star Game and Fan Fair

Thousands of hockey fans from all over are descending on San Jose this weekend for the NHL's All Star Game and Fan Fair.

They'll pack the SAP Center and the Convention Center, not to mention local hotels and restaurants. But for San Jose, this is just the latest in a string of high profile sporting events coming to town. And the city is getting lots of practice playing host.

San Jose officials say they've worked hard to highlight what the city has to offer: a walkable downtown, nice weather and a right sized venue. And now it's paying off with events like this.

For hockey fans, the NHL All-Star weekend is a big deal: the players, the game, the excitement.

Nicholas Sikiric, 11, of San Jose says, "It's really awesome because I've loved hockey for a really long time."

But for the city of San Jose, hosting big deals like these major sporting events has become almost commonplace.

Jonathan Becher, President of the San Jose Sharks says, "You know 25 years ago, people asked where was San Jose. Now nobody asks if you know the way to San Jose. That's how popular we are."

While the town is all about hockey this weekend, a few weeks ago it was filled with football fans as the college national championship game was held nearby.
And a few weeks from now, they'll switch to basketball with the first two rounds of March Madness.

That's not to mention the ice skating championships and Olympic gymnastics qualifiers that were here recently too.

John Poch, Exec Dir of the San Jose Sports Authority says, "We consider San Jose the premier sporting city in the west coast."

The San Jose Sports Authority says they've worked hard to build this reputation. With each successful event, they say the next one comes knocking.

Poch says, "We proved that a: we have the fan base. b: we have the professional partners that want to make it happen. and c: we can deliver."

Oh and they say the weather doesn't hurt either.

Diane Anderson just flew in from Winnipeg. She says, "It's a lot better. It was -28 when we left home!"

And it is a weekend filled with All Star activities. The skills competition gets underway tonight at 6pm, with the All Star Game itself tomorrow. Meanwhile there are fan fair activities at the convention center tonight and all weekend long.