The San Jose Sharks (NHL) are looking at hosting outdoor hockey in 2015, and AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, may house the rink.
This isn’t a surprise — earlier this year, Giants president Larry Baer indicated his team was talking with the Sharks about a partnership at some point — but apparently all sides are close to a decision. The Sharks are also talking with the San Francisco 49ers about hosting the game at Levi’s Stadium, but there are a few drawbacks: with the team a likely playoff contender, the game would need to be pushed to February, the smaller capacity of AT&T Park would be an advantage, and the bay view of AT&T Park is a lot more scenic than the view of the suburbs at Levi’s Stadium. In a previous interview about the ballpark hosting hockey, Baer had this to say:
“Our ballpark would be perfect,” Baer said. “A lot has to happen with the NHL and how these things get planned, but we’d love to do it. We think it would be a great partnership. We have a fair amount in common (with the Sharks) in the way we approach presenting our games. I think it would be an easy marriage and great for the fans.”
Next year we’ll have fewer outdoor hockey rinks under the NHL Stadium Series umbrella; right now the only game on the docket is a Washington Capitals game probably slated for Nationals Park. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if one other team announced outdoor hockey at an MLB ballpark. 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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