As the NHL All-Star Game festivities converge on San Jose this week, the league and the host Sharks were busy Tuesday giving SAP Center a makeover.
And it wasn't just the playing surface that was being transformed.
"This game is not just like a regular hockey game," said Jonathan Becher, Sharks co-president. "The eyes of the world are sort of on us. And so ... we’re putting in special equipment. There will be new cameras, something called a gitti-camera, that can follow a player around on ice.
"The NHL on Friday has a special press conference where they are going to be unveiling a next generation of puck and player tracking, and for the first time you’ll see it at this All-Star game," Becher continued. "Of course we’re here in Silicon Valley, so it’s a highlight for tech. So, definitely this is not just another game."
Indeed, the best players in the world are coming to the South Bay. The skills competition is Friday night, and the All-Star game is Saturday night. For fans, there's Fan Fair at the San Jose Convention Center that runs Thursday night through Sunday.
In all, it’s a four-day boon for the organization and the city.
"Something like 7,500 new hotel rooms being booked," Becher said. "I’ve heard numbers like north of $15 million of economic activity coming as well. But more than anything else, this is for the local hockey fan. This is a chance to celebrate the sport we love."