Monday, February 22, 2021

NHL Outdoor Game Ideas

The NHL played two outdoor games over the weekend at Lake Tahoe. While the league has held outdoor games in stadiums for over a decade now, these games were unique in that there were essentially no fans. The league put a hockey rink right next to Lake Tahoe with the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background. It was absolutely beautiful. I mean, sure the Saturday game ended up being delayed after the first period due to the sun melting the ice, but I think the NHL should consider playing games in unique locations in the future, even without fans.

Here are some ideas the NHL should consider. 

+ Since I'm from Pittsburgh, Point State Park was the first place I thought of when I came up with the idea for this post. Every television broadcast from Pittsburgh always shows the confluence where the Allegheny River and Monongahela meet to form  the Ohio River. Now you can have a game right there!

+ Central Park in New York City. I asked my friend and hockey road trip partner Christian his thoughts on this question, and he suggested other places in New York, which sound even cooler. "The rink could go in Battery Park which is all the way downtown. View of the WTC as well as the Statue of Liberty. 

Oh, and on that note. Do the game on Governors Island. There’s a massive field in the middle. Would have a great view of the Verrazano bridge, the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan. And best, it’s on an island. The NHL could easily control the people who are on the island. In fact, I bet a lot of cities have islands that have great views. That could be kind of epic."

+ My first thought of having a game in the Bay Area was on the Golden Gate Bridge. Sure, that would seriously mess up traffic for days, but think of the views! However, after Christian's island idea, the clear answer is Alcatraz. (This video is not suitable for work, but go to 2:07 of the video to avoid the R-rated language and get to the money line.)

+ Play the game on an actual lake. Since Lake Tahoe isn't frozen, pick one that actually is for a January or February game. Lake Placid.* Lake Michigan. Lake Erie. Great Bear Lake. Any of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes. Just find one that works.

+ Convert a Maid of the Mist boat at Niagara Falls into a hockey rink. Amazing views plus you get the bonus of seeing a game played on a moving surface (the boat will be on the water, not docked!) and you get the mist from the falls creating poor visibility for the goalies.

+ The National Mall in Washington. I see two options here. One is building a rink between the Washington Monument and the United States Capitol, and the other is on the reflecting pool itself. For the second option, immediately after the national anthem, have Robin Wright come on the ice and yell Forrest.

+ The Grand Canyon. There must be a valley with enough space to put a rink. 

+ Under The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. 

+ Outside the CN Tower in Toronto or the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago.

+ Long Pond in Windsor, Nova Scotia. If this is the first place hockey was played, play an NHL game here!

+ Next to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles. And by next to, I mean play the game on Mount Lee for the first ever game played at a significant angle!

+ Yellowstone National Park. Build the rink with the Old Faithful geyser in the middle. Who wouldn't want to see Tom Wilson get shot up into the air in the second period?

I could probably keep going, but if you have other suggestions, please leave them in the comments section below.

* Although this post is about outdoor games, why hasn't the NHL had an indoor game in Lake Placid? There is no place more famous for hockey in the United States than Lake Placid. 

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