Predicting NHL All-Star Game For 2026: There Is Only One Option

NHL All-Star Games, the Grateful Dead, and black licorice. Things people love, or hate. Rarely is there a middle ground. The good folks of Raleigh, North Carolina will be loving the 2026 NHL All Star Game, as I am betting it will be in the City Of Oaks.
2024 Honda NHL All-Star Game
2024 Honda NHL All-Star Game / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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Raleigh, and the state of North Carolina have proven their bona fides with last years Stadium Series game, the now 48 consecutive game sell out crowds at PNC arena, and the quality of the team on the ice. I am predicting that the good hockey fans in the City Of Oaks will be adding the 2026 NHL All Star Game to the gaggle of feathers in their collective hockey cap. It only makes sense.

Before the puck dropped on the 2023 Stadium Series game, NHL planners were already floating the idea of an All Star Game coming to Raleigh in the next five years. The atmosphere the Carolina Hurricanes front office was able to create paled other outdoor games in comparison, and solidified the capabilities of replication. One needs only to look at this year's Winter Classic and Stadium Series games to see a huge difference. Nothing like a "Park" themed game between the Rangers and Islanders to make the epic tailgate/college football scene of the Raleigh game look like the best thing since Betty White.

Last year's Stadium Series game success was just the first in a series of dominos to fall paving the way for what seems like an easy choice for the 2026 NHL All Star Game. The next will be the completion of the renovations to PNC arena which are scheduled start this summer. Even as costs continue to rise, a majority of the renovations will be completed by 2026. Do not think for a second that Carolina Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon and General Manager Don Waddell won't be moving heaven and earth have things wrapped up in time to make a sales pitch to the NHL. What better way to showcase a brand new, top of the line multipurpose arena than hosting an NHL All Star Game?

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Finally, the Carolina Hurricanes, and the city of Raleigh have a rather large ace up their figurative sleeve in the fact that sports betting will be up and running at full capacity by the time the 2026 NHL All Star Game is ready to roll into the Tar Heel State. Set to tip off in March, just in time for the NCAA March Madness tourney, sports betting is going to factor in heavily to the aforementioned PNC renos, and will have a huge impact on the economy of North Carolina. By 2026 betting establishment will have been in operation for a little under two full years, and the added entertainment value will attract more attention to the game. Not to mention more money into the coffers.

Naturally I am partial to Raleigh over any other possible venue for a NHL All Star Game, so it does not take much to get me on board with having the game here. All of the possibilities surrounding PNC arena, the city of Raleigh, and the state of North Carolina, it should not be too hard of a sale on the NHL either.