SBD/January 7, 2014/Events and Attractions

NHL Looks To Bring Hollywood Glitz To Ducks-Kings Outdoor Game At Dodger Stadium

The Jan. 25 Ducks-Kings Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Dodger Stadium "is a gamble" because it "leaves out most of the things that matter in outdoor hockey: bone-chilling wind, water and air," according to Etan Vlessing of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. But the league "will be front and center" in L.A. for the event. NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood said that "mixing NHL brawn with Hollywood beauty promises an event more than a league game." Vlessing noted the league will "bring glitz to Dodger Stadium by enlisting the support of avid Hollywood hockey players like producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Barry Josephson, sports agent Pat Brisson, and actor Cuba Gooding Jr." Additionally, KISS is "already booked to perform at the first-ever outdoor NHL game in Southern California." Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille and MLSE President & CEO Tim Leiweke "are also getting behind the Dodger Stadium game." NHL COO John Collins said Robitaille and Leiweke "have a good relationship with the Hollywood community, and that only grows." He added, "Hollywood will want to be there because they'll be part of an event" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/3).

WINTER OF OUR DISCONTENT: THESTREET.com's Jason Notte wrote "something seemed off" with this year's Bridgestone Winter Classic. For what has "become the NHL's premier event, there was a sense that the league wasn't pulling out all the stops." Country group Zac Brown Band performed the national anthem, and fans are "still wondering what they were doing there." Beyond the NHL and Verizon's ads for its GameCenter streaming service, there "wasn't much tucked amid the game's myriad commercial breaks to keep viewers from popping in on bowl games or just about anything else." The event "deserves better." A Winter Classic needs to "bring a little more than cold, snow and second-tier entertainment if it's going to cement its position as one of the biggest events in all of sports." With a "little more attention, the NHL could strengthen the Winter Classic to the point where advertisers not only are compelled to spend significant money on it but to make commercials exclusively for it." The league also could "broaden its Winter Classic offerings to include better coverage of the alumni game, more parties and events in the host city and some top-tier talent for its music and presentation portions" (THESTREET.com, 1/4).
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