Disclaimer: if you’re a fan of say, not the New York Rangers, your team may not have actually been given an outdoor game.
Last night TSN and ESPN both shared the news that NHL is going to have (queue Lebron James) not one outdoor game. Not two. Not three, not four, not five. But six, yes, six outdoor games next season.
Six. Six outdoor games.
Here’s what we’re looking at:
* Leafs / Red Wings will still be held on January first in Michigan at the Big House
* Ducks vs. Kings at Dodger Stadium, Jan. 25
I hope it’s 80 degrees out.
* Devils vs. Rangers at Yankee Stadium, Jan. 26
* Islanders vs. Rangers at Yankee Stadium, Jan 29
Oh don’t you patronize us Islanders fans. Looks like somebody got tossed a bone in the NY/NJ games. “Well, the rink is going to be up anyway, should we just let the Isles have a kick at the can too?”
* Penguins at Blackhawks, Soldier Field, March 1
* Senators at Canucks, BC Place, March 2
Gotta cash in on that historic Sens/Nucks rivalry I spose. By the way, here’s BC Place.
Neat! A mostly-indoors outdoor classic!
I understand what’s up here from the NHL’s perspective. X makes money, so we should do more X. But by the same token, sugar is excellent, and too much of it gives you diabetes.
I’m not really sure why the transition to more outdoor games had to be from one to six – I mean, one to three and I’m still tuning in. With six, there’s a decent chance I might actually miss one because the quality of the games isn’t all that great and hey, I’ll just catch the one next week, right? I think six takes it out of “bloggers complain about it” range and pushes it into the realm of “the general public complains about it.”
That said, I may not always have a finger perfectly on the pulse of how the general public feels on hockey issues because I mostly deal with people who are heavily involved in the sport every damn day. Those who aren’t so invested are more likely to think “hey cool, my team is going to be involved, I’m definitely going to go/watch/buy a jersey” or whatever.
I’m sure how much those outside the vicinity of the actual games care doesn’t really matter to the league – most of us will still tune in, even apathetically (ratings!), and those in the area will cash in on their chance to go.
But, I could see this hurting the NHL down the road. Once you’ve been to one and realize it costs a crap-ton and your view of the game isn’t all that great and the atmosphere, while really cool, isn’t worth the thousand dollars it just cost your family, I doubt you’ll be all that eager to attend the next one when it’s back in a year or two. (Or in the case of the Islanders/Rangers, two days later.)
But I suppose if the NHL spreads it around – here’s looking at you, Minnesota, St. Louis, Colorado and beyond – you could avoid hammering the same cities too much, and keep jamming cash in the leagues jeans. BEAT THAT GOLDEN GOOSE.
The whole thing kind of reminds me of seeing a deer in its natural habitat. It’s amazing. It’s rare, and graceful, and this is really cool. And then you live somewhere deer are abundant, and they’re ruining your lawn and running across the highway at night and just a damn inconvenience. And that’s where we might be heading with the outdoor games.
“At Yankee Stadium, tickets are more expensive and I can’t see the game as well? F*****g deer, man.” (Stick-tap to Louis CK.)
I didn’t really follow the news yesterday but is there any reason why NHL officials are currently building an outdoor rink in my backyard?
— Down Goes Brown (@DownGoesBrown) April 17, 2013