Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Sidney Crosby to Play in Outdoor NHL Game on New Year's Day

from Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The league reportedly desires at least one U.S. team involved in "Ice Bowl," which would be a spin-off to the Heritage Classic that took place in November 2003 between the Edmonton Oilers and Montreal Canadiens. That game, played at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, drew a crowd of nearly 60,000 and was played in sub-zero temperatures.

The Heritage Classic was the first NHL game played outdoors and attracted the largest live audience to watch a league contest. However, it was not televised live in the United States.


According to multiple sources, the NHL will stage an outdoor game involving Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year's Day in 2008. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the Penguins have agreed to be the visitors in the outdoor game, which will be hosted in either Buffalo or Detroit. The game would be marketed as the "Ice Bowl", and would air on NBC on January 1, 2008 opposite college football bowl games.

Talks of a planned outdoor NHL game started last year. Those plans reportedly had the Rangers playing the Islanders in an outdoor game on New Year's Day at Yankee Stadium. Those plans never materialized, but the NHL remained interested in playing a outdoor game in 2008 to help increase the league's exposure. NBC is interested in televising the event, as it looks to add sports programming on New Year's Day after losing its college football bowl game rights.