NHL May Include More Warm-Weather Locales For Outdoor Games
The NHL's decision to host the '20 Winter Classic between the Predators and Stars at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas "may offer a hint of what's to come, with warm-weather destinations like Tampa and Arizona considered strong contenders for future outdoor events," according to Chris Johnston of SPORTSNET.ca. There is a "financial component at play" when it comes to outdoor hockey games -- 33,000-plus fans attended Saturday night's Heritage Classic at Regina's Mosaic Stadium for a game between the Jets and Flames, "more than twice" what the Jets draw for a typical home game. The "on-the-ground experience remains overwhelmingly positive" at these NHL outdoor events, and the atmosphere "can't be matched" for an indoor regular-season game. As for what is next in Canada, the "biggest hurdle" is a "lack of suitable venues." It "doesn't sound like" there will be another Heritage Classic next season, but '21-22 "remains a possibility" (SPORTSNET.ca, 10/27).
NORTH OF THE BORDER: POSTMEDIA NEWS' Kristen Anderson wrote the snow in Regina on Saturday "started falling two hours before puck drop" and "didn't stop." The spectacle was "picturesque, idyllic and worth the price of admission." The players, "battling snow and gale-force winds, put on a show" (POSTMEDIA NEWS, 10/27). In Vancouver, Ed Willes writes this year's Heritage Classic "delivered something special in Regina." Willes: "The league, in fact, should be commended for bringing the outdoor game to a city and province which has meant so much to hockey" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 10/28).