Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Winter Classic Locale Wishlist
It has been announced that the 2009 Winter Classic will be held at Wrigley Field in Chicago, with rumors abound that the 2010 game will be played in new Yankee Stadium. Since this is the new fad of having a once-a-year outdoor game, here's a list of places where I'd love to see the Winter Classic played, in no particular order, of course-- and as a bonus; the possible match-up.
-Molson Stadium, McGill University (Montreal, PQ): Holding true with tradition, McGill University students wrote the first rules of hockey during the first organized game back in 1875. Though the 2010 game seems to be a lock, it would have been nice to have this for the Canadiens' 100th season festivities. Match-Up: Montreal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
-Homewood Field, Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore, MD): It's an odd choice, especially considering cold temperatures in Maryland at New Year's is hit and miss...mostly miss. That said, it does have historical value to it. Not only was Baltimore the place were the first artificial ice surface was made (no truth to the rumor that it is still used at First Mariner Arena), but Baltimore was the setting for the first ice hockey game in the US, as JHU took on Yale University in 1896, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Match-Up: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
-Michigan Stadium, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI): Michigan State got their chance in Lansing to show their stuff, but now UofM has their chance. Of course, the UofM would have a bigger scale with the NHL being the prime locale, but all the same-- it would be good for hockey in the Michigan region. Plus, add the Columbus Blue Jackets-- another UofM vs. Ohio State....well, not really-- but still. Match-Up: Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
-Fenway Park (Boston MA): If Wrigley and the new Yankee Stadiums can hold it, why not the Green Monster at Fenway?? Granted, plans for Boston College and Boston University to host teams from the Midwest were scrapped, any success in Chicago and New York could put pressure for Boston to get with the times and host an outdoor NHL game. Match-Up: Boston Bruins vs. Carolina Hurricanes (get the Hartford connection....no??)
-Rideau Canal (Ottawa, ON): It's far fetched, but the Canal in winter time is a great place to be around. Plus, when it freezes, the Canal is the world's 2nd largest skating rink, next to the Assiniboine River in Winnipeg. The Senators have already explored options of using the Canal with temporary bleachers for spectators. Match-Up: Ottawa Senators vs. Minnesota Wild
-Canmore, AB: Why not have a game at this place?? It was the setting for the fine film Mystery, Alaska starring Russell Crowe. Plus, in January in the Rocky Mountains-- you're sure to have decent ice and frozen spectators. The only downside is no true stadium to have the game at. Match-Up: Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers
Of course this is just a short list, but I'm sure as time goes on-- I'll expand on it.
As you can see, all of these are above the Mason-Dixon line, and that's just common sense. Sadly, no Southern fans will be able to see it live, unless they travel all over to see it happen. That, or global cooling happens.......or they come up with some sort of super ice compresser for hotter states. Time will tell.
And before I get some emails concerning why there isn't a game in Minnesota-- tell the state to build an outdoor stadium with more than a 25,000 capacity and then I'll add it to the list. Trust me, I tried to fit Minnesota in, but all their stadiums are domed. Though, I did work the Wild into the Ottawa game.
What do you think?? Drop me a line and tell me why my picks stink.