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LA outdoor game could lead to more ‘non-traditional market’ matches

May 7, 2013, 10:10 AM EDT

General view of Dodger Stadium as Dodger players warm up in left field and the grounds crew prepares the infield dirt and home plate area before the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 27, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
(August 26, 2011 - Source: Jeff Golden/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The NHL has confirmed that Dodger Stadium will be the host of an outdoor game between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings at 7:00 p.m. PT on Jan. 25, 2014.

If all goes well, this could lead to more outdoor games in markets that would be considered “non-traditional” for a Winter Classic, NHL COO John Collins said.

“We’re trying to get this event to more markets, to give more people an opportunity to tailgate and celebrate around hockey,” NHL COO John Collins said in a LA Kings Insider report.

When people hear about an outdoor hockey game in Southern California, they usually wonder if the weather will be a problem. The average January temperature for Los Angeles is typically between 48 and 68 degrees in January.

“We don’t anticipate any issues. We had pretty strong sun in Philadelphia before that game,” Collins pointed out. “I think if you took a temperature right by the boards, it was up to the low, mid-70’s with the sun beating directly on it. That’s where (NHL facilities operation manager Dan Craig) first made use of the thermal blankets to really protect the ice.”

The ice will also be constructed at night and shielded from the sun during the day. The NHL will also have contingencies in place in case it rains around the scheduled start time.

The game at Dodger Stadium is part of a series of outdoor games that will take place in 2014. The Blackhawks will host the Penguins at Soldier Field on March 1 and we’re likely to hear the dates and locations of other outdoor games confirmed in the coming weeks.

  1. ibieiniid - May 7, 2013 at 10:32 AM

    Do I sense a Mexico City Melters vs. Yucatan Tanners game in the making?

    I went to a hockey game and a water polo match (match?) broke out.

    • coopjr - May 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      The Guadalajara Chupacabras play an old school muck and grind dump and chase style. However, the frantic pace and end to end action of the Tijuana Chi-Chi’s is not to be missed.

      • ibieiniid - May 7, 2013 at 2:27 PM

        I tend to hate internet comment elaboration by other commenters… but your fake Central America team names may have even been better than mine lmao. Guadalajara Chupacabras is awesome. may just have me a new fantasy hockey team name for next year.

  2. danaking - May 7, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    I hope it’s 90 degrees and rains. Hard. Leave it to the NHL to cheapen a good thing.

    • bgrillz - May 7, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      They are trying to grow the sport. They are trying to expand the audience. More money, equals bigger caps. People in Philly, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Toronto, and NY are already sold on their hockey teams, and so is the region. LA is a big city, and is a basketball/baseball city. They are trying to tap into some of that. This isn’t cheapening anything. People in LA will show up, and people will watch on TV. It’s smart business.

      • clefty1 - May 7, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        It does cheapen the outdoor game..The object of the Winter Classic was to take hockey back to its roots and that is with cold temps, snow and ice not palm trees and the desert. What else that will be a JOKE are the Hollywood celebrities that will just show up to say they were at the game. Detroit is also quite the hockey market as well…

      • boltsfan777 - May 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

        I live in Tampa, and I love playing rec league hockey, but part of the fun is escaping from the heat and temporarily imagining I live in a cold place. Our local rec rink is very cold inside, but I start sweating in my gear before I hit the ice, and I’m totally drenched after an hour. I think it would be extremely uncomfortable for the players, and wouldn’t be fun playing outdoors on what would probably be a sunny 72 degree day in early January.

        Keep the outdoor game in the cold weather cities. I don’t want to see an outdoor hockey game here. It’s great having a pro team here, but let’s be realistic. As Steven Wright said “You can’t have everything, where would you put it?”.

      • ibieiniid - May 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM

        i’m with Boltsfan. why have a warm weather team play outside. except for franchises that moved…. those teams have no history with outdoor games. it makes no sense. the whole point is to bring it back to the days where outdoor hockey was actually a big event, before all the ice-making technology. there’s no history in LA of outdoor hockey, why do they think the fans there will connect with the idea like they do in Canada?

  3. pitpenguinsrulez - May 7, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    So does this mean that Tampa Bay, Florida, Dallas, and Phoenix all get to play hockey outdoors in warm weather? It would be pretty tough to get Florida Panther fans to attended a game at Dolphin Stadium considering how there fanbase disappeared this season.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

      Florida fans disappeared yet they outdrew: Nashville, Edmonton, Anaheim, Colorado, Winnipeg, Columbus, Phoenix, and the Islanders. Yet, they had the worst record in the NHL. Not to mention Florida played to 99.7% to capacity.

      Here’s your proof it’s not BS

      • ibieiniid - May 7, 2013 at 2:31 PM

        people underestimate how much they like their teams down there.

  4. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 7, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    This can’t be Bettman’s brainchild. Or is it? They are making the NHL to be a circus road show. If you need these gimmicks to draw fans, then you’re disparate. I get the fact that they want to increase fan base, but this is ridiculous. How about using conventional methods? Here’s an idea. Avoid lockouts/strikes. They are dong some good stunts with Hockey Day in Canada/America. But outdoor games in cold climates are, for me, a stretch. Now they want regular season games in hot climates. Desperate times require desperate measures.

    • ibieiniid - May 7, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      one thumbs up for “Here’s an idea. Avoid lockouts/strikes.”
      a second for the typo that produced “dong.”

  5. mclovinhockey - May 7, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    I don’t hate the fact this is outdoors, I hate the fact there will be 6 games outdoor next year

    • philly06 - May 7, 2013 at 3:35 PM

      True, I’m actually excited about this game, I just wish it wasn’t one of probably 6 next year. Should only ever be one or two outdoors a year, the winter and heritage classics.

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