Hockey to be played at Wrigley Field
So it looks like this is going to be an annual event. Regular season NHL games played outdoor in a baseball or football field. I say, why not, it makes great television and it attracts crowds of people. They were hoping to play at Yankee Stadium, but I guess it did not work out. Maybe its just me, but hockey as the last professional sport played at Yankee Stadium just doesn't seem right. Nonetheless, it is now official that the Detroit Red Wings will play the Chicago Blackhawks at New Year's Day 2009 at Wrigley Field.
The defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks are taking hockey back outdoors when they meet New Year's Day 2009 in the home park of the Chicago Cubs.
It will be the NHL's second Winter Classic. Last season in Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 before a crowd of 71,217. Snow fell during the game and the Pens won on Sidney Crosby's goal in a shootout.
It will mark the third regular-season outdoor game in NHL history. The Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens on Nov. 22, 2003.
The game, beginning at noon Central Time, will be televised nationally on NBC.
The matchup will be the 701st meeting between the Red Wings and Blackhawks — no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against one another than these two fierce rivals. Red Wings fans often make the trip to Chicago when their team faces the Blackhawks.
"The NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.
It should be a great event, but it seems like they are playing with fire if its an annual event. This concept might become stale and lose its luster, and also its an outdoor game in cities that are freezing cold. Weather conditions will also play a part and what will happen if theres a storm, or rains. Players might get hurt and games might be cancelled. It just seems quite risky for all the effort that goes into it. I guess anything goes for the NHL to attract new crowds of people and bigger TV contracts.