The NHL embarked on an ambitious promotional schedule this season with the Stadium Series, but look for it to be scaled back in 2015, according to league officials.
This year saw six outdoor events, beginning with the Winter Classic and including outdoor games at Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium. That’s a pretty ambitious schedule, and while the league has seen tons of great publicity (particularly in southern California, where the Dodger Stadium game was a hit), it may not be a sustainable schedule. And ballparks may not be part of the 2015 plans, past the Washington Nationals hosting the Winter Classic. From NHL.com:
John Collins, the League’s chief operating officer, said Friday at Dodger Stadium that the League will “definitely” be holding fewer than six outdoor games next season, but he wouldn’t put a number on how many and he wouldn’t say where they could be other than Washington, D.C., which has already been announced as the host city for the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015, at a still to be determined venue against a yet unnamed opponent.
“We have ideas,” Collins said. “There are the markets that everybody points to that we all know would be great. We already announced Washington. Everybody knows Minnesota would be great. Colorado would be great. If this goes well [in Los Angeles], San Jose would be great.”
Collins noted Montreal and Toronto are possibilities, provided the League can find the proper venue to host an outdoor game.
One thing we do know: Nationals Park will host the 2015 Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015. Outdoor hockey is proving to be a big hit, even apart from the NHL: the University of Minnesota successfully hosted outdoor hockey at TCF Bank Stadium, with over 45,000 fans on hand for the Hockey City Classic.
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