Coming on the heels of the stunning success of the New Years Day outdoor NHL Winter Classic between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins, franchises are already lobbying to be part of, or host, the next NHL outdoor game. As reported by the NY Times:
â€œThere have been several expressions of interest,â€ said Frank Brown, the N.H.L. vice president for media relations, but he did not specify from which teams.
The Flyersâ€™ president, Peter Luukko, has had â€œinformal conversationsâ€ about staging a game between the Flyers and the Penguins at Penn Stateâ€™s Beaver Stadium, a Flyers spokesman said.
Detroit Coach Mike Babcock suggested the Red Wings play a game at Michigan Stadium. Other suggestions made last week for future outdoor games involved Yankee Stadium, Chicago, Boston, Toronto and Montreal.
As far as Boston is concerned, could Fenway Park host a game? Red Sox Senior Vice-President Â of Corporate Partnerships Sam Kennedy said, â€œI think itâ€™s fair to say we would absolutely be interested in exploring [an NHL game at Fenway Park] in the futureâ€
(Read the Business of Sports Network interview with Sam Kennedy)
As to why teams would clamor to host the game is simple: revenue gold.
The Winter Classic garnered an attendance record for an NHL game at 71,217 (381.0% of capacity at Ralph Wilson Stadium). For the NHL, the idea of riding the wave of interest is certainly something to consider. The game was the highest rated NHL broadcast since 1996.