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Gary Bettman pulls plug on Winter Classic in Miami idea

Jan 13, 2012, 9:51 PM EDT

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman took in tonight’s Florida Panthers-Pittsburgh Penguins game and the biggest takeaway is a bummer for big dreamers hoping to see an improbable Winter Classic in the not-so-frosty state of Florida.

Here’s Miami Herald beat writer George Richards’ take via Twitter:


The Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Filakov provides more of an explanation, even if it’s a bit confusing:


Well, OK then. Still, some of us will continue to dream of an outdoor hockey game with palm trees and journalists wondering around in bad Hawaiian T-shirts.

(It’s good to dream every now and then.)

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:50 AM

    What’s Miami’s population, about half a million people? Bettman would have to bus in fans from around North America if he wanted to host it in Miami. There’s twice as many hockey fans in a lot of cities that could host the next Winter Classic.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      Maybe not clear enough here. There’s twice as many hockey fans in some cities as there are people in Miami (most of whom are probably not fans.)

  2. xxakshunxx - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:57 AM

    The marlins have trouble bringing in fans and they shell out a good team every couple years.. Not sure why they would even try the idea of a novelty like the winter classic down their when places like Colorado, Detroit or any team from Canada deserve to see it before a team from florida

    • scottfmullin - Jan 14, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      You can’t deny a hockey team the winter classic because of the city’s baseball team’s attendance

      • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM

        You can when baseball is the more popular sport yet people still don’t go to the games.

  3. scottfmullin - Jan 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    You guys underestimate hockey fans in Florida. If there was a winter classic, people WOULD come. Enough to sell out the place easily, in fact. There are certainly more hockey fans in other cities, but a game in South Florida would at least be a novel idea worth exploring some year in the future.

    • blomfeld - Jan 14, 2012 at 3:33 PM

      “a novel idea worth exploring some year in the future” …

      I suppose ? … as would hosting the Super Bowl in India or the staging a Formula One race in Antarctica … the bottom line remains however, that ice hockey is not indigenous to the state of Florida and therefore the Winter Classic must never be played there … in fact, it should never played anywhere beyond a 200 mile distance from the Canadian border … I’ve never been a big fan of Bettman but it’s good to see that he wants to “fight the good fight” now, as that indicates he’s finally waking up to smell the coffee …

  4. capsrockva - Jan 14, 2012 at 6:05 PM

    I don’t see the winter classic being played anywhere south or where it typically is warm during the winter. Just not practical.

  5. teaspoon1731 - Jan 15, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    Regardless of market size, they have trouble with ice quality in northern climates. How would they ever pull off a game in Miami?

    And if you want the Winter Classic to continue to be good for the sport, you should probably keep it in places where people care about hockey. Miami is not that place.

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