So there is going to be a total of 6 outdoor games this year. That’s right, 6 of them. We have games in Detroit, Vancouver, New York(X2), Jersey, and LA. Yeup, an outdoor ICE hockey game in LA. The Winter Classic is always something hockey fans look forward to. For myself, its a great way to recover from the festivities of the night before, and gives me an excuse to spend all day on the couch. I cant make the same excuse 5 more times.
The Winter Classic hype is justified. It reconnects a professional sport to its grassroots level, its almost nostalgic to many die hards. This year its being played in Michigan Stadium, aka ‘The Big House’. Seating capacity is 100,000+ so yeah, its gonna be a spectacle. Plus HBO is coming back for another 24/7 series which is always a goose-bump inducing 4 episodes. Many of us have been long looking forward to this years game for an extended period due to the lockout, so I’m pumped.
That being said, how much novelty can there be for an additional 5 games outdoors? Will there be an almost magic like element to an outdoor hockey game in Los Angeles? How exactly do they plan to make decent ice in January in LA with an average high of 20C, and a low of 8.8C? Ones mind boggles.
I understand lost revenue must be recouped from the lockout. The league did itself no favours with the work stoppage. However is it really worth taking the novelty away from one of the NHL’s most popular annual events? I could be wrong, and it could turn out to be a huge success. No doubt people will still tune in, but I truly feel it is taking away the intrigue and the excitement surrounding the event.
In Philly in 2012 when the snow was falling, the sun had set, and we were watching Danny Briere stand on the red line waiting for a penalty shot, his breath escaping in the wind, it was almost magical.The intensity and gravity of the moment surpassed that of a mere sporting event. 50,000 fans in Citizens Bank Park and millions of fans watching at home held their breath in anticipation.
I don’t want that crammed down my gullet until it becomes a regular occurrence. Do you?