March 10, 2008

Chance of Winter Classic in Yankee Stadium Progressing

A report in today's New York Daily News says that momentum is building towards finalizing a deal to hold a 2009 Winter Classic at Yankee Stadium, a few months after the Yankees play their final game there. The Rangers would play an opponent not named the Islanders or Devils due to marketing and the attraction of national television ratings, which make sense. Having an "Original Six" match-up with Detroit, Boston, or Chicago involved would help draw viewers outside of the tri-state area.

While talks are still progressing, nothing has been finalized yet, especially since the Chicago Blackhawks want themselves in the mix as the location for a future Winter Classic. Having the game at a baseball stadium in the dead of winter would ensure better ice than what we saw in Buffalo. The NHL's ice guru Dan Craig would be given much more time to build a rink and prepare ice in anticipation of the game.

"It's something we've spoken both to the Yankees and to the city about," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told The News. "But it's not a done deal. There are still other possibilities and a lot of moving pieces."

If I were a betting man, I would think if the NHL could get the OK from Yankee brass to hold a hockey game on the legendary field, the league would no doubt announce a 2009 Winter Classic immediately. An ideal opponent would be Detroit as they would be a bigger television draw from any team not featuring Sidney Crosby.

Either way, it's safe to say the Winter Classic is probably going to be an annual thing, which to me, is not a bad thing at all. Other than the Stanley Cup playoffs, what do non-hockey or casual hockey fans have to look forward to during the regular season? A staple outdoor game would be just that.

UPDATE: Chris Chelios adds fuel to the fire, mentioning he's heard the Red Wings will be involved

Ballhype: hype it up!


Emmett Jones said...

Great article, I actually wrote about this myself and linked to you. I'm not the biggest hockey fan, but I have to say that the Winter Classic is definitely the way to get hockey "back on track" so to speak. I throughly enjoyed the game in Buffalo, even with all the hiccups, and I think just as many people, if not more will be watching if the game is in Yankee stadium.

ETVal said...

r hockey idea. I just hate the idea of making this the final event at Yankee Stadium. I think the game should be held at Shea or the Meadowlands.


1) "The Stadium" would be an excellant/most logical choice for the next out door game/gimmick.
2)The NY market give the league/NBC the biggest market to boost ratings, and to have a game in such a historic location makes as much sense as anywhere else such a game could be played


1) If the Wings and Chelios are involved it would make sense. After all didn't Chelios also play the FIRST game at Yankee Stadium? ; )

Crushers68 said...

This is BS. The winter game in Buffalo was one of the most boring NHL games I have ever seen. There was no flow, no speed and the puck crawled across the ice. This is nothing but a gimmick and the NHL doesn't need to stoop to such levels.

Secondly, how could you let the Rangers be the last team on the field at Yankee Stadium? What a disgrace to a top notch organization. Babe Ruth, Joe D, Micky Mantle etc will be rolling over in their graves!

This game should be played at Shea where losers congregate. The Rangers and mets deserve eachother as their oth big time LOSERS?

PS Scotty Gomez goes five hole on his mother.

Sean said...

@crusher: difference would be the NHL would have much much more time to construct a rink and make sure the ice surface is 100 times better than what we saw in Buffalo.

Also, the Yankees are helping spearhead this event, so they want to have this event as much as the NHL does in the Stadium.