So yesterday, NHL COO John Collins was interviewed by Bloomberg News about the possibile locations of future Winter Classics. He threw out the usual, standard-fare options that would be great (Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Penn State). Everyone would love to see outdoor games in those cities. It would be awesome.
But then the interview headed to Weirdsville in a goddamn hurry.
NHL representatives recently visited Las Vegas in part to gauge the feasibility of staging a Jan. 1 game on Las Vegas Boulevard South, the area known as “the Strip,” Collins said.
“Logistically, it could happen,” he said.
Could it? Could it really? When I read this, I phoned a friend of mine who lives in Las Vegas. Midday temps in Vegas on New Years Day: 45 degrees. Midday temps in Vegas right this second: 70. So what logistical circumstances, outside the construction of a super villain-type weather machine (surely to be built in Gary Bettman’s Lab for Desecration of the Sport that I’m convinced exists), would allow for the game to be played in these conditions?
I’m pretty sure I remember people in Chicago flipping the hell out when it was like 50 out and they were worried about that affecting ice quality. Imagine Shane Doan taking a header into the boards because he hit a puddle caused by a week of 65-degree days in the lead-up to the game. Ridiculous, stupid idea.
Oh but you wanted to hear a worse one? Take it away, Collins:
A Jan. 1 date would likely make for better playing conditions. Prior to this year’s game, the NHL also spent more than $1 million on a custom-made refrigeration truck and other equipment, allowing for better control of the ice surface.
“The new rink opens up a lot of opportunities,” Collins said. “We might even be able to have a night game out at the Rose Bowl.”
Yeah it was 70 in L.A. on New Years’ Day. And I’m pretty sure the Rose Bowl is all booked up on Jan. 1 anyways. I believe they’ve played something called THE F’N ROSE BOWL on it every New Years’ Day for the past 95 years. Collins has to be talking out of his ass.
What is with the NHL’s obsession with taking something special and widely regarded as “good” (Outdoor games! Big crowds! Record ratings!) and changing it for no goddamn reason whatsoever?
But because the Rose Bowl might not be feasible, I have come up with several places that will serve as suitable substitutes for an upcoming Winter Classic: