Report: Just two outdoor games next year?
Expect the NHL to have only 2 outdoor games during the 2014-15 NHL Regular season. We know 1 is in DC.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 17, 2014
During the Stanley Cup playoffs, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed there would be less than the six outdoor games held this year -- the Winter Classic at Ann Arbor, four Stadium Series games at Dodger Stadium, Yankee Stadium and Soldier Field and the Heritage Classic in Vancouver -- but more than the one already confirmed, the 2015 Winter Classic in Washington.
“This year we used those games in a variety of ways. Part of it was promoting us going into the Olympics, part of it was promoting it coming out. And doing it in New York [around the Super Bowl] with two games...we had to do lots of stuff,” Bettman explained. “Our people did an extraordinary job, but we really taxed things to the limit. But also, interestingly enough, the Olympic break let us set up for more games.
“So, it’ll be more than one and less than six next season.”
If Shannon’s report is accurate, next season’s other outdoor game could very well be in the Bay Area. Two weeks ago, reports that San Jose was expected to host a game (possibly at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants) surfaced; what’s more, Wild beat writer Mike Russo recently wrote that Minnesota’s proposed outdoor game “might not come to fruition” this year.