Hurricanes selected as host for 2011 All-Star game

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - The Carolina Hurricanes will host the National Hockey League All-Star game in 2011, the league said on Thursday.

Carolina beat about 14 other applicants to host the January 29-30 All-Star extravaganza, which includes a skills competition and various other ice hockey-themed events.

"The fact that this event has been awarded to the Hurricanes is a testimony to the strength of the market, the strength of the franchise and, above all, the enthusiastic support the (fans) show for their team," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman told a news conference outside the team's arena.

The All-Star game features the league's Eastern Conference All-Stars versus the Western Conference All-Stars.

Bettman said he awarded the game to Carolina after the city fulfilled a promise to increase the number of hotel rooms and convention space in the area.

Carolina hosted the NHL Entry Draft in 2004 and also staged the Stanley Cup Finals when the team reached the championship series in 2002 and 2006.

The NHL did not have an All-Star game this year because of the Vancouver Olympics. Montreal hosted the event in 2009.

Scott Dupree, vice president for sports marketing for the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, said he expected the event to generate $10-20 million in visitor spending.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Ken Ferris)