January 6, 2011


Winter Classic Revitalizing Hockey in U.S., But Moving Event to Creative New Sites Would Make It Even Better (Tom Caron, Jan 6, 2011, NESN)

Where does the Winter Classic go on New Year's Day 2012? Fenway Park was a terrific host, and Boston would undoubtedly welcome the event back with open arms. New York City hasn't had one yet, but the new Yankee Stadium is tied up with a bowl game for the next few years, and the old stadium is gone. Not sure Citi Field qualifies as an "iconic" stadium worthy of the event.

You could hold it in the Meadowlands, but hosting a classic across the parking lot from an arena that lost the sport after years of poor attendance seems wrong.

Perhaps the NHL could bring the game to neutral sites, bring the sport's most visually appealing event to a spot without a team. Lambeau Field could host a game -- it's certainly cold enough in Green Bay. Or build a temporary stadium at the speed-skating oval in Lake Placid, N.Y., in the shadows of the arena known for hockey miracles.

Pulling the Winter Classic out of NHL cities might be the perfect way to keep the event growing. Put it in a ski city -- Park City, Utah, or Jackson Hole, Wyo. For that matter, take it overseas. Last year, New England Sports Ventures showed everyone how to stage a two-week hockey party. I'm sure that group could make it work at Anfield if it can get Liverpool to hit the road for a couple of games. (The locals won't mind. The way the Reds have been playing, they'd probably be happy for a sporting distraction.)

...are The Mall in Washington, DC and Central Park in NYC.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at January 6, 2011 5:54 PM
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