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SBD/January 2, 2014/Events and Attractions
Source: Nationals Park The Likely Host For '15 Winter Classic In DC
Published January 2, 2014
TORONTO WANTS A PIECE: MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke earlier this week said he hopes to land the '17 Winter Classic if BMO Field is expanded, and NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said he will "have that conversation with Tim." Bettman: "Tim couldn’t be more aggressive on behalf of the Leafs and everything that is going on around the Air Canada Centre. ... We like to look for exciting opportunities where we can get our fans to connect with the game in special ways. If it makes sense and we can do it, why not?” Bettman was asked if an outdoor game in Toronto could offer enough seating for fans, to which he answered, “The logistics of being outside is daunting and expensive. ... But more than that, when you’re going to put on an event like this, lots and lots of people want to attend. If you can only do it for 20- or 30,000, than what’s the point?” (“Hockey Central,” CJCL-AM, 1/1).
MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS? In St. Louis, Jeremy Rutherford reports despite a "strong desire by the Blues to host an outdoor game ... or even play in one elsewhere, the team is not on the NHL’s list of participants at this point." Blues Owner Tom Stillman said, "We would love to have an outdoor game in St. Louis, especially the Winter Classic. ... It’s old-time hockey outside. We think it would be great for Blues’ fans, great for the city and great for the Blues’ organization.” Stillman said that there "isn’t a formal application process ... to secure the Winter Classic." Rutherford notes the NHL is "well aware that all 30 teams would welcome the event," and it is "more a matter of pushing and prodding." The MLB Cardinals would be involved in the bidding process, as a St. Louis outdoor game "would be played at Busch Stadium." Stillman: "The Cardinals would love to have an outdoor game at Busch Stadium. ... It’s something they’re very interested in doing" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/2).
TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? SPORTSNET.ca's Luke Fox asked Lightning VP & GM Steve Yzerman if he had made a "pitch to hold an outdoor hockey game in the Sunshine State." Yzerman said, “I’m a little concerned that we're killing the golden goose a little bit here with all these outdoor games and ruining the uniqueness and specialness of these games." However, he added, "Someday I think it’s something to consider if our organizations continue to improve and both (Florida) teams get better and more competitive. Let’s see how it goes in California." The Kings and Ducks are scheduled to play at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25 (SPORTSNET.ca, 1/1).