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10 Future Outdoor Hockey Venue Locations The NHL Should Consider

With the NHL announcing the three outdoor games for the 2015-16 season last week (Montreal vs. Boston at Gillette Stadium in the Winter Classic, Chicago vs. Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium and Detroit vs. Colorado at Coors Field – both part of the Stadium Series), there are still some teams and cities that have been frozen out of participating in a game. Below are ten outdoor match-up ideas that haven’t been done yet, some with the idea of trying to incorporate the forgotten teams, and would be cool if they happened.

  • Detroit Red Wings @ Columbus Blue Jackets – Ohio Stadium (104,944 capacity)

    The NHL could stage it's own version of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry in Columbus. (Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports)
    The NHL could stage it’s own version of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry in Columbus. (Kirby Lee – USA Today Sports)

-On the heels of Ryan Johansen taking off his Blue Jackets jersey to reveal a Braxton Miller Buckeye’s jersey during the Skills Competition at the All Star Game this past weekend, scheduling an outdoor game between the team from Ohio and the team from Michigan would attract both die-hard hockey fans, and the casual hater of the opposite state. “The Shoe” is one of the more iconic stadiums in college football, and it would be a fantastic setting for some outdoor hockey.

 

  • Chicago Blackhawks @ Dallas Stars – AT&T Stadium (105,121 capacity)

    It would be a natural progression for AT&T Stadium to host some outdoor hockey since the venue has hosted just about everything else. (Getty Images)
    It would be a natural progression for AT&T Stadium to host some outdoor hockey since the venue has hosted just about everything else. (Getty Images)

-AT&T Stadium has held everything from Dallas Cowboys games, NCAA games, Wrestlemania, an NBA All Star Game, and the Final Four.  Why not add hosting a Dallas Stars outdoor game to the list of huge events held at “Jerry World.” To fill out that stadium would require a visiting team that has a big draw, so the Blackhawks would get to play outside yet again. If drawing over a 100,000 spectators seems like too tall of a task, then Global Life Park (home of the Texas Rangers) is right across from AT&T Stadium, and it’s a much cozier 48,114 capacity.

 

  • Arizona Coyotes @ St. Louis Blues – Busch Stadium (43,975 capacity)

    St. Louis Blues' fans might be waiting a while before hosting an outdoor hockey game. (ballparksofbaseball.com)
    St. Louis Blues’ fans might be waiting a while before hosting an outdoor hockey game. (ballparksofbaseball.com)

-I’m including the Coyotes as the visiting team because it would be one of their only opportunities for participating in an outdoor game (hosting outdoor hockey in the desert isn’t really viable, even if the temperature does drop at night). As for the Blues organization, they 100% deserve an outdoor game, but it’s not really possible at the moment for them to host an outdoor game, either. The issue is that Coors Light is the official beer sponsor of the NHL (Coors Light Stadium Series), and St. Louis is Anheiser-Busch territory, hence the stadium name. The home of the St. Louis Cardinals, with the backdrop of the city over center field, would be a great backdrop to the game if it ever happened.

 

  • St. Louis Blues @ Nashville Predators – LP Field (69, 143 capacity)

    The Predators could play host to a Central Division rival at the Tennessee Titans’ football stadium. (Gary Glenn – Titansonline.com)
    The Predators could play host to a Central Division rival at the Tennessee Titans’ football stadium. (Gary Glenn – Titansonline.com)

-Since the Blues can’t host a game, send them to play a nearby Central Division rival. Nashville is a fun city, it has a devoted fan base, and if you mix in some country music artists in to the pre-game and intermission festivities (Nashville is the country music capital of the world), you’d have a great outdoor experience at the home of the Tennessee Titans. Nashville is also a close enough drive for Blues fans to make a road trip down I-24 for the game. Bristol Motor Speedway would have been a cool idea, but it’s a little too far away for Nashville to call a home game.

 

  • Tampa Bay Lightning @ Carolina Hurricanes – Carter-Finley Stadium (57,583 capacity)

    If the Hurricanes hosted an outdoor game, it would be the third time the NHL went to a college football venue. (Getty Images)
    If the Hurricanes hosted an outdoor game, it would be the third time the NHL went to a college football venue. (Getty Images)

-One thing that’s unique about Hurricanes games is that they have a pre-football game feel to them. Tailgating is a common occurrence outside of the PNC Arena for ‘Canes home games, so why not just move one of those across the parking lot to the home of North Carolina State football games?  The Lightning aren’t a likely candidate to ever get an outdoor game, and these two franchises were division rivals not too long ago in the old Southeast Division. It would also give the NHL a chance to showcase one of its top stars (Steven Stamkos) in an outdoor game.

Next 5 Venues On The List
Adam Bernard
I'm a seasoned veteran in the sports media field and a lifelong Rangers fan (hoping to relive 1994 at some point - I couldn't fully appreciate a championship at 11 years old). Hockey dominates my life for the most part: I also root for the Blackhawks & Kings, I've been lucky enough to split season tickets for the Blueshirts with a good friend since the lockout, and I'm a defenseman on a local roller hockey team. Away from the rink, I enjoy hiking, hard rock music, and spending time with my dog Astro.
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3 comments
diickfisher
diickfisher

Las Vegas Outdoor Game or Ottawa Outdoor Game.

mikeymcnally
mikeymcnally

The Dallas Stars should/will be in an outdoor game but NOT at Jerry World (AT&T Stadium). The Cotton Bowl has much more of an "Old Time Hockey" feel. And it will be the Stars vs the Blues-but hopefully at the Cotton Bowl(capacity 70-80  K)

timbogdansky
timbogdansky

As a matter of fact, an outdoor game in AZ is viable, and is not dependent on cold weather. Coyotes' ownership has been talking with league for 2 years now. Whether it happens or not is to be seen but not out of the question.

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