MLB Giants In Talks With Sharks, NHL For AT&T Park Outdoor Game In '15
MLB Giants President & CEO Larry Baer said that the team has "had preliminary discussions" with the Sharks and the NHL about bringing a game to AT&T Park, according to Alex Pavlovic of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. NHL officials in the coming months will tour the ballpark, Levi's Stadium and Stanford Stadium to "determine the best option in the Bay Area, in case the Sharks are awarded a Stadium Series game." The Sharks "are cautiously optimistic that they'll get a shot at outdoor hockey" in '15. Baer said, "Our ballpark would be perfect. A lot has to happen with the NHL and how these things get planned, but we'd love to do it." Pavlovic notes the NHL "still must decide if the Stadium Series will be as widespread" in '14-15 as it was this season. The Sharks "expect a decision in the coming months" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/28). CBSSPORTS.com's Brian Stubits wrote everybody "wants in on outdoor hockey," which has made "imagining different settings across the continent an exciting adventure for hockey fans." AT&T Park "seems like it would be the favorite" for a Sharks outdoor game "if for no other reason than the setting right on the water." Stanford Stadium is a "nice, new and intimate stadium up in Palo Alto and would probably provide great sight lines but doesn't have that extra ambience AT&T Park has." The "same goes for Levi's Stadium" (CBSSPORTS.com, 2/27).
COLLINS WEIGHS IN: NHL COO John Collins on Wednesday said of the outdoor games this season thus far, "We learn as we go and we re-evaluate and adjust. But I think it's been great. Detroit was its own beast, and that was everything you could ever hope for, wish for, expect, plan for. That was great. The difference between the Winter Classic and the Stadium Series, people are seeing them for what they are. It's important for us, generally, for people in L.A. and New York to experience these games for themselves. It's one thing to sit back and watch them on TV, but when you're there it's different." Collins said of possibly playing an outdoor game at a neutral site, "People always have opinions about what markets should get a game and how great the games could be there, what venues can you create the pond of dreams and then the neutral site. It's all fun. There's a lot of markets that have raised their hand and would like a game and should get a game. The game in L.A. opened it up a little bit in terms of the ability for [NHL Senior Dir of Facilities Operations] Dan Craig and his guys to make NHL-quality ice in Southern California and have a pretty good experience. I think that'll give us a little bit of flexibility as we look at some of the other markets" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 2/27).
GAMEDAY DECISION: In Vancouver, Mike Beamish reports a decision on whether the roof at BC Place will be opened or closed for Sunday's Senators-Canucks Heritage Classic "will be made" the day of the game. Meanwhile, eight members of Canada's Gold Medal-winning women's hockey team "will be acknowledged" at the game (VANCOUVER SUN, 2/28). The game will mark the first time the NHL has played in a stadium with a retractable roof (THE DAILY).
A BIT OF HISTORY: Saturday's Penguins-Blackhawks Stadium Series game at Soldier Field, set to air on NBC at 8:00pm ET, will be the first scheduled primetime, regular-season NHL game on network TV in the U.S. since Bruins-Rangers on Jan. 4, 1974. The primetime '11 Winter Classic at Heinz Field, was postponed from its original start time because of weather (Christopher Botta, Staff Writer).