Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hockey at Yankee Stadium?
Ballpark beats Churchill Downs, Indy Speedway

An executive with knowledge of the Yankees thinking tells 1050 ESPN New York's Andrew Marchand that the team will not stand in the way of a proposed plan for the final event at Yankee Stadium to be an NHL game.

No agreement is actually in place yet for the possible Yankee Stadium finale, but if a deal does happen, the game would likely be played on New Year's Day in 2009 and involve the New York Rangers.
I'm afraid there's little we can do about it: The outdoor game is going to be an idea done to death — or at least until TV ratings and ticket sales sag.

Given this will be the last game ever at the hallowed ballpark, it's certainly understandable that the NHL wants to jump on the opportunity. But what's been interesting so far, at least in my eyes, is the reaction from baseball purists and other non-hockey crazed fans.

They're not very happy, and may, in fact, even protest the game in a move that'll bring a little PR the NHL's way.

Me, I don't have any special connection to Yankee Stadium, but I do find it curious that the brass there aren't all that concerned with this idea. The payout must be decent enough.

It'll be a spectacle to be sure, and so should the game in 2009 at Wrigley Field. But at some point, this is a cash cow that'll run its course, as fans tire of sitting in faraway seats in the bitter cold and the league runs out of suitable settings for what should be a once every five years or so event.



At 11:03 p.m., March 11, 2008, Blogger Baroque said...

For an oh-so-brief moment, after hearing the talk about how the league wanted outdoor games to be special, I thought they wouldn't actually overdo it and for once show some iota of intelligence.

Alas, hopes for reason dashed again.


At 11:46 p.m., March 11, 2008, Blogger poploser said...

as a NY Rangers season ticket holder, I will be selling these tickets. I have zero interest in spending $80 a ticket to "watch" a game I won't be able to see.

Stunts are stunts. Sooner or later, the public gets bored with them, and they lose their luster.

So now I've got 2 "home" games next year I don't get to see so the NHL can try to generate a few more dollars of revenue.

Add this to the 200% increase in my ticket prices for this year's playoffs, and I'm beginning to realize why some fans get tired of feeling jerked around by their teams.

At 12:23 a.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Ace said...

As a Rangers and Yankees fan in the NYC area, I'm all for it. However I've heard a lot of mixed reactions from Yankees fans (and a handful of jealous Devils and Isles fans) with many feeling it could tarnish the legacy of Yankee Stadium in that the last event ever could be a hockey game.

However the way I see it, there's so much tradition at the Stadium, a single hockey game isn't going to ruin anything. Playing Cotton Eye Joe during the 7th inning stretch every game is a much bigger travesty.

Many people forget that Yankee Stadium has been home to so many different events, including being the home of the NY football Giants for many years, concerts, hosting the Pope, and boxing. Even the Stanley Cup has already been to Yankee Stadium, after the Rangers won it in 94. Also, arguably the greatest sporting event ever at Yankee Stadium, wasn't even a baseball game, it was Joe Louis knocking out Max Shmeling in their rematch in 1938.

Poploser, I definitely understand where your coming from - especially about the ridiculous playoff prices. Must be Dolan's way of making back some money after the Knicks disastrous season. But the league desperately needs to regain popularity, and I'm fine with the Rangers being the guinea pig for some of these experiments.

At 12:34 a.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger Eyeris said...

What a pretty golden goose. Let's slaughter it!

At 2:34 a.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Outdoor games will continue until a star step into a rut, snaps a twig, and misses 6 weeks.

At 8:02 a.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there a fan left of this game that isn't a crybaby? The outdoor games have been great, the league is only doing one a year, the fans like it, and it looks amazing on television to see clouds of steam rising off the players and the fans.

And I'm curious how the league is showing no intelligence here; to me it looks like the NHL is responding to the fans here, and going out of its way to set up what may be a great new tradition for the league...a new tradition that simultaneously gives a nod back to the good old days of hockey.

Oh, wait, I forgot--there's no Leafs or Oilers scheduled here, and it only involves the most popular pro hockey team in the Eastern US. So of course it's a sham! Let's get the Sens vs. the Habs, who wants an original six matchup in this situation anyway?

And let's keep it in Canada too!

At 8:24 a.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It would be intelligent to not run quickly through all the available locations so the league runs out of options for any other games. If they spread them out more, then it would be more likely to be a fresh idea and stay interesting.

I wonder how enamoured the owners will be when they spend the money one of these years to build a rink, and the temperature shoots up and everything melts, causing the game to be cancelled - especially if the warm temperatures last for a week so the game can't be played outside at all.

Limiting the number of games limits the expense and spreads the lost revenue out more when one of the events can't be put on at all.

And this was in the New York Times today, about how Yankee Stadium hasn't really been a baseball-olny place.


At 9:51 a.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger The Forechecker said...

But at some point, this is a cash cow that'll run its course, as fans tire of sitting in faraway seats in the bitter cold and the league runs out of suitable settings for what should be a once every five years or so event.

The fans won't get tired of the seating, because if they do it once per year and keep moving it around, it'll be a new crowd every time; and there are certainly enough places around where you could set up something like a 10-year rotating schedule before hitting the same spot again.

As college football in the US has succeeded in diminishing the importance of the New Year's Day bowl games, the NHL stepping into that void is actually a pretty smart move.

At 10:25 a.m., March 12, 2008, Anonymous j smack said...

4-on-4 OT. The "bonus" point. The shootout. Outdoor hockey. Just another desperate gimmick.One day the relative humidity will be too high, and the ice will deteriorate( if no one gets seriously hurt before then) and thus will be the end of this episode.

At 12:02 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

Is there a fan left of this game that isn't a crybaby?

Truer words have never been spoken.

At 4:54 p.m., March 12, 2008, Blogger The Gate To The Groin For Yannick Bertrand said...

I'm excited about the possibilities for future "playing outside in strange places" posts

At 7:39 a.m., March 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's been an outdoor preseason game in Las Vegas before. Some time in the 90's between the Kings and Rangers if my memory's correct. So, the weather shouldn't cause problems. Once a year 10-odd year rotation is alright by me.

At 3:47 p.m., March 13, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does everyone think making this an annual event is a bad thing? I mean they have a Macy's Thyanksgiving Day Parade every year and a Rose Bowl Game and those are the same thing, same place year in and year out. At least this is something unique.

BUT they did get really lucky in Buffalo. The weather was snowy but just enough for atmosphere. The game was close and the latest face of the League scored the game winner in a shoot out. Maybe they should just leave well enough alone.


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