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?