I'm assuming we all agree the NHL is going to do this outdoor thing again somewhere. They sold more than 71,000 tickets and had their highest regular-season TV rating since 1996 with Tuesday's game at the Ralph so they have a right to tell any nay-sayers to go pound. (And seriously now, what kind of a Scrooge must you be to go on and on, whether in a blog or a newspaper or anywhere else, that you didn't have fun Tuesday?)
You may have read my story in Tuesday's preview section on past outdoor games. While doing the research, I came across plenty of chatter about potential future sites. Didn't have room to include it in that story but we can ponder it here:
1). Montreal -- Next year is the Canadiens' 100th anniversary but the Big O has a roof and the CFL place only seats about 20,000. Hmmm.
2). Detroit -- There has been talk of Comerica Park but the biggest rumors center on Ford Field, which would be indoors but allow 80,000 and be a good prep for the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four there. The CCHA is pushing a doubleheader with another Michigan-Michigan State meeting followed by a Red Wings NHL game. That would make for some atmosphere.
3). Pittsburgh -- How about a Sabres-Pens rematch on New Year's Day of 2009 in Heinz Field?
4). Toronto -- Open the Rogers Centre roof and let the snow and cold air come in!
5). New York -- You know this has to be in the talk. New Yankee Stadium surely could be in play. Same for the new Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands.
6). Penn State -- The Flyers are pushing this one and insist there would be more than 100,000 on hand for a game with Pittsburgh at Happy Valley, about midway between the two cities. Said Flyers winger and Pittsburgh native R.J. Umberger, "That would be insane."
7). Boston -- The Red Sox have explored a game at Fenway Park but most of the talk has centered around the area colleges like Boston University and Boston College.
So if not the Ralph, where would you put a game?