Hockey fans were given some surprising and exciting news to kick off the new year as Sportsnet is reporting that the NHL will host a special outdoor weekend at Lake Tahoe. The report suggests that the showcase will take place the weekend of February 21-22 and will feature a game between the Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights on the Saturday night followed by the Philadelphia Flyers vs Boston Bruins on the Sunday.
This event is expected to be different than other outdoor games that quite frankly have become quite stale. The goal here is for the NHL to play in a picturesque location unencumbered by the restraints of a stadium. A rustic rink with open air and open sight lines amidst the backdrop of one of the most scenic parts of the country.
The NHL is expected to set up a rink along the back-9 of the famed golf course at Edgewood Tahoe Resort.
The plan is for the weekend to be a made for TV spectacle as fans will not be allowed in attendance. The league expects the group heading to Lake Tahoe to consist of only the teams as well as a spacial game-ops and broadcast crew.
This weekend is scheduled to be a one time thing but if the league is able to pull it off, we shouldn’t be surprised if the league looks to hols similar events in different locations going forward.
In a season with very minimal ticket sales the NHL desperate to draw attention to the league in order to boost ratings for a new TV rights contract. It’s the type of outside-the-box thinking that the NHL isn’t always great at but if pulled off properly, this weekend has the potential to be the type of spectacle needed to draw more eyes to the sport.
The Avalanche and Golden Knights are likely to be two of the best teams in the league this season so it’s not surprising that they are the two that the NHL has decided to feature on the Saturday night of what is now expected to the the marquee showcase of the season.