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Bettman raves about first two Stadium Series games ‘under two wild extremes’

Jan 26, 2014, 9:50 PM EDT

garybettmangetty Getty Images

For the players, the on-ice action might have been mixed (and oddly fitting: ecstatic in Los Angeles, sarcastic in New York City), but Gary Bettman provided the first two games of the 2014 Stadium Series with effusive praise.

“The first two games of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series – played on two coasts, under two wild extremes of climate – provided all the best elements our sport can offer our fans,” Bettman said in a statement.

“Within 16 hours, two of the most-revered venues in sports welcomed more than 100,000 fans to sit under the sky and enjoy two of the fiercest rivalries in the National Hockey League. The games were spectacular, the images were unforgettable and the sheer energy our sport creates was unmistakable. This truly was a remarkable weekend for our fans and our league.”

On Saturday night, the Anaheim Ducks shut out the Los Angeles Kings 3-0 in a game at Dodger Stadium that left players feeling like “rock stars.”

Meanwhile, Sunday afternoon shifted to Yankee Stadium as the sleepy New York Rangers trounced Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils 7-3.

  1. penguins87and71 - Jan 26, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Personally I think that all these outdoor games is just getting annoying. The only reason why I watched the game today was because there was nothing else on. The NHL in my opinion is ruining the outdoor game, it’s just getting to be to much and it’s not as special as it used to be. I think three outdoor games is good, the Winter Classic, the Heritage Classic and one Stadium Series Game.

  2. joey4id - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    Bettman may be tooting his own horn, but one thing is for sure the fans are paying to fill up those venues. It wouldn’t surprise me if they would take their outdoor games to EU in the near future. These games will stop when the cost of production becomes higher than profits. The only reason we saw NJ as the host team in Yankee stadium is because the costs would been higher if the Rangers would have been the receiving team. Players should be happy because the profits are part of the HRR pool.

    • chestergunnnx - Jan 26, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      The Rangers must play all their home games at MSG. That is why they are the road team at Yankee Stadium for both games.

      • joey4id - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Yep! “The reason seems to lie in the special exemption that has freed MSG from paying property taxes since 1982.”

  3. 950003cups - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:12 AM

    Chestergunn is correct. It’s in the rangers contract. If you believe that Yankee stadium gave a discount to the NHL because the home team was the NJ Devils then you need to stop posting until you get out of first grade. The NY Yankees are the NY YANKEES. They don’t care in the least bit about the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, and especially the NHL. You wanna play there, you pay the price they ask. No discounts for anybody not named Steinbrenner

  4. anthj99 - Jan 27, 2014 at 2:14 AM

    Buck Fettman.

  5. muckleflugga - Jan 27, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    nobody could accuse americans of being susceptible to hype …

    not until the nfl ends it annual grossly exaggerated self-importance with hyperbole’s mother lode … the super bowl … two minutes of live action dressed into eight hours of dramatic ego-fuelled orgasm … gee chris it’s all so …


    enter the nhl,wanting to be seen as huge

    with a product nearly devoid of the spectacular play that held its audience on the edge of their seats … suddenly infused with need to paint it up and powder it up

    taking a game that once sold itself on merit born of skill and finesse … in the present a moribund charade of staged fights and savage play and the courts of law … a good a time as any to

    move it to bigger arenas with more exposure … bigger ugly and more warts … bawdy house meet circus … kiss…?


    call it huge call it


    yet classically boring … players upstaged by hype and overkill … missing were black-lights and day glo crazy colours and glowing pucks and bowling dwarfs and mud wrestling nuns … an old whore in new paint strutting

    the new age marketing mantra … build it and the sheep will come

    for awhile

    • patthehockeyfan - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:05 PM

      Way to go, muckle! I couldn’t agree more. (And, I find myself a little worried that I agree with one of your comments. It’s so unlike me.)

      One correction, though. There are 11 minutes of action in a football game, not two minutes. And, when the non-believers question this statistic, and rub their fingers raw thumbing down this comment, they can look it up. 11 minutes.

      The over-commercialization of ice hockey … with Vin Scully playing the carnival barker. How sad.

      P.S. I can’t get the image of mud-wrestling nuns out of my head. Thanks a lot!

    • blomfeld - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:06 PM


      I agree with you Flugga, as notwithstanding the King’s current woes, that game on Saturday night was positively boring. The sight lines on TV were horrible and the lack of any ‘real or actual’ intensity was obvious to even a blind man. Bettman and his ‘Stadium Series’ efforts amount to nothing more than an ersatz or ‘paper-mache’ effort to fleece the ‘uninformed’ for all they’re worth. And thus far it appears that the sheep are offering up their wool in bushels, with little or no concern for what they’re receiving in return. Nonetheless, this travesty cannot continue for much longer. February 9th marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first Ed Sullivan performance in New York … what a night for North America eh ? :) Yet only 2.5 years later on August 29th, the Beatles played their last ever ‘live’ concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco … and the stadium was half empty ! … truly unbelievable when you think about it.

      The bottom line is that comparing NHL Stadium Series hockey to the Beatles would be like comparing Wayne Newton to Mozart. And therefore if the Beatles could have such a short shelf-life trying to fleece the masses in ball parks, then you can bet that the NHL’s stadium efforts are going to sink faster than the Titanic !

  6. nj666 - Jan 27, 2014 at 12:17 PM

    call it whatever you want… but being there felt like a real winter classic. It was a real rivalry in the cold with a backdrop of snow, you couldn’t ask for much more. well maybe for marty and the d to not play like arse…

    • cofran2004 - Jan 27, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      I dunno… I left pretty pleased….

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