Frozen Royalty: Will The NHL’s Winter Classic Ever Come To Southern California?
With the Winter Classic in Pittsburgh now a moment in history, Los Angeles Kings fans are asking: will we ever get this thing in LA? Gann Matsuda talks a bit about this in his latest piece. Check it out!
LOS ANGELES — Heinz Field in Pittsburgh has long since been converted back into a football stadium after the National Hockey League’s 2011 Winter Classic, played on January 1. But, since then, there has been a lot of talk about other NHL cities that want to host the annual outdoor game.
To be sure, a lot of NHL cities, especially in colder regions of the United States, are already lined up, waiting for their chance to host the annual spectacle, and, if you listen to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, only cities with cold weather will host the Winter Classic.
“I think, for the foreseeable future, it’s more likely than not we’ll continue to do it in climates that we hope will be more hospitable, and we saw what happened in Pittsburgh this year,” said Bettman, noting that the NHL had to deal with unseasonably warm temperatures and rain, forcing them to turn a day game into an evening contest, starting at 5:00 PM Eastern time.
Bettman added the league would be open to having teams located in warmer climates participate in the Winter Classic as the visitors.
“I wouldn’t rule out the so-called ‘Sun Belt’ teams from participating in an outdoor game as a visiting team,” he said. “But I think we’re more focused, in the shorter term, on markets that, at least from a weather standpoint, would seem to be more predictable because this game counts. We want conditions [that are] as good as possible.”
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