25 April, 2014

Searching for the Next Great Outdoor Game

Yankee Stadium may be out as the site for an outdoor NHL game next New Year’s Day, according to today’s USA Today. Both New York baseball teams are building new stadiums, and there’s an enormous amount of construction associated with those sites as well as others in the respective burroughs of Queens and the Bronx.
An alternative site? Potentially Beaver Stadium on the campus of Penn State.

“Bettman said he received a letter from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell asking the league to look into playing a Penguins-Philadelphia Flyers game at Penn State’s football stadium. An announcement could come by early next month, Bettman said.”

If you’ve been to State College, you know it’s a level or seven down from the media market of the Big Apple. It’s also (basically) without an airport. Should that be the followup to this past New Year’s Day snowy stunner in Buffalo, convenient to both Toronto and New York media?

And if the league needs to wait a month before determining the site of this new and highly appealing event on hockey’s calendar, why not wait off another week and add it to the league’s Entry Draft weekend of fun, and give that event some more pizzaz?

The dismantling of Yankee Stadium should begin in February or March. The wrecking ball bludgeons Shea not long after the Mets’ final game this season. Losing out on Yankee would be particularly disappointing for the NHL, as the event necessarily would garner extraordinary interest again in the media capital of the world and as Yankee’s final significant event, joining that venue’s legion of memorable dates (Muhammed Ali fights; the Beatles; Notre Dame-Army football).

If need be, how about this instead: the Hawks and Wings on New Years from a recently renovated Soldier Field?


  1. Mark Tucker wrote:

    My vote for next outdoor game (in order of preference):
    Yankee Stadium – It’s going away, so it’s now or never.
    Montreal – Their 100th anniversary next season, and it would be an awesome climate for the event.
    Chicago – What’s not to love about that original 6 spot? That wind whipping of lake Michigan ought to be enough to keep Pierre McGuire quiet.
    The Mall – D.C. Baby! I mean, how much worse could the ice be on the mall from the phone booth???

    15 May, 2008 at 12:37 pm | Permalink
  2. Mark – given the renewed rivalry between Washington and Pittsburgh, to say nothing of the appeal of their respective superstars, I don’t think an outdoor game on the Mall or somewhere else here is as far-fetched as some would think. Imagine the Capitol as a backdrop to a temporary rink and temporary stands on the Mall. And we already know the site can accommodate hundreds of thousands, with the Park Service experienced in handling such crowds. But please, if it comes to it, any site in this region save FedEx Field.

    15 May, 2008 at 12:48 pm | Permalink
  3. Is Ford Field a retractable dome?
    If so, I’d like to see Leafs/Wings there or at Comerica.

    15 May, 2008 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
  4. Just remembered that the U of Minnesota is building a football stadium on campus (’09 opening, maybe?) with like a 55k capacity. I’d be shocked if Lucia’s Gophers didn’t skate a game there within a year or two of its opening.

    15 May, 2008 at 1:16 pm | Permalink
  5. Beaver Stadium would be awesome.
    /We are Penn State

    15 May, 2008 at 1:23 pm | Permalink
  6. Curtis wrote:

    I for one would love to see a hockey game at the “Beaver” I am a grad there so a little bias. But come on. The positives…Downtown state college is spectacular, it’s always cold (the beer and the weather) the college is beautiful, the stands has the potential to pack in over 100,000, you have the option of putting teams like Pitt, Washington, Philly, New York, Buffalo, Joe Pa is there, and if the game is a blow out there is a Hooters restaurant downtown! The Negatives…Yea I here the airport is a little one, if it’s not snowing it’s raining, I cant think of any more (remember I am bias) We are! Penn State!!

    15 May, 2008 at 1:39 pm | Permalink
  7. WFY wrote:

    I don’t think media market is an issue for a couple of reasons:
    1.) Media will come to an event like this one
    2.) Buffalo & Pittsburgh aren’t exactly top 20 media markets and that did fine.
    I think putting the two Pennsylvania teams in Beaver Stadium sells out the non-upper deck portions of the stadium, so that is 85,000 tickets. It would be a pretty crazy day too. As an alum, part of me would be intersted in going, but then again, I saw enough of the Philly vs. Pittsburgh rivalry when I was a student. Plus, as a Washingtonian I would neither could win.
    Also, the airport can handle it, they expanded the runway for the bigger jets over ten years ago.

    15 May, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink
  8. I’d have to go with Mark on the vote for Chicago…

    15 May, 2008 at 3:26 pm | Permalink
  9. Blackaces wrote:

    I’ve been saying for over a year that the Caps should try to play a game on The Mall. I know the logistics could cause headaches, but just imagine how cool it would be.
    Just like PuckandBooks said, it would be stunning to have a hockey game played near the Capitol, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, etc. It would be amazing.
    Those who run hockey need to think outside of the box and do something like this.

    15 May, 2008 at 3:31 pm | Permalink
  10. Chris wrote:

    I propose a double header at HERSHEYPARK Stadium or on the Mall. The first game could be the BEARS vs. either the Baby Pens or Phantoms(Philly) and the nightcap would be the Caps vs. Pitt or Philly.

    15 May, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink
  11. Schultz for Norris wrote:

    How about Dolphin Stadium? Great international feel to the town and the ice won’t be any worse than it is at the Verizon Center. Have it be Fla versus Flames. You know 50,000 residents of Calgary would want to get the hell out of Alberta for a long weekend in December/January.

    15 May, 2008 at 5:15 pm | Permalink
  12. Dan wrote:

    Right at the part of the Mall just in front of the Capitol. They build TONS of bleacher seating for Innaugurations and Parades…it would be manageable to put stands there for a hockey game…and have an awesome backdrop for Crosby vs Ovechkin from the National Mall.

    16 May, 2008 at 10:27 am | Permalink
  13. jim wrote:

    the flyers pens game looks like a brilliant idea, just look at the tv ratings for the eastern confernece finals. somebody is watching

    17 May, 2008 at 9:03 am | Permalink
  14. Gustafsson wrote:

    Alex the Great vs. Sid the Kid at FedEx?
    The Washington Capitals are interested. The Redskins would be interested, too. But, when it comes to outdoor hockey, it?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s up to what the NHL wants.
    The next NHL outdoor game ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù one was played in Buffalo on New Year?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Day ?¢‚Ǩ‚Äù was thought to be headed to Yankee Stadium. But commissioner Gary Bettman said those plans now are in jeopardy. The Capitals have made preliminary inquiries, as have other teams, about hosting an event, according to a team source. And a Redskins team source said they would be interested in staging the event. A Penguins-Capitals game, featuring Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby, would make sense. Both teams should be good next year.
    One industry source tracking the situation told The Examiner?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Jim Williams, ?¢‚Ǩ?ìCombine that with a big outdoor event on a New Year?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s Eve or New Year?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s day and you have a winner not only for the NHL but also for NBC.?¢‚Ǩ?

    18 May, 2008 at 8:46 am | Permalink
  15. 16 July, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Permalink
  16. 7 August, 2008 at 3:51 pm | Permalink