Penn State Eyes Outdoor Hockey Game; NHL, Big Ten Matchups Being Considered
Penn State Univ. officials confirmed that they are "seriously considering the idea" of staging an outdoor hockey game at Beaver Stadium, with the teams either coming from the NHL or the Big Ten, according to Gary Sinderson of Johnstown, Penn.-based WJAC-TV. Penn State Associate AD/Ice Arena & Hockey Development Joe Battista said that the Penguins "would probably faceoff" against the Flyers. However, there are "several challenges to hosting an outdoor game at Beaver Stadium, including parking" (WJACTV.com, 6/3). YAHOO SPORTS' Greg Wyshynski wrote, "The idea of 100,000 fans cramming Beaver Stadium at Penn State for an intrastate rivalry game has been something hockey fans have fantasized about since the Winter Classic’s inception." Battista said that he "thought some combination" of the Flyers, Penguins and Sabres "could play there." Sabres Owner Terry Pegula's $88M donation to Penn State is the "reason there's a hockey program" at the school (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 6/5). Flyers President & COO Peter Luukko said, "Not sure if next year is a possibility. Penn State is very interested." Battista said that the NHL game, if approved, "would probably have to be played in December before the stadium is winterized for the offseason" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 6/6).