Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman is reporting that “at least” four NHL teams — the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins — are investigating playing their home games outdoors next season. The teams are seeing if the change in venue could allow them to host some fans during regular-season games next season.
As the coronavirus pandemic rages out of control in the United States — more than 2,800 deaths were reported on Wednesday — the likelihood of fans being allowed inside into arenas for the 2020-21 season becomes less realistic by the day.
I'm not sure it's possible; the odds are against it — but four NHL teams are looking into the possibility of playing their home games outdoors. Can't fault anyone for considering their options: https://t.co/7EBe4WQ2Vc
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) December 3, 2020
According to Friedman’s reporting, the Kings first started investigating the idea several months ago as the team’s owner, Anschutz Entertainment Group, also owns the Dignity Health Sports Park, where the MLS’s LA Galaxy primarily plays.
The Bruins have explored Fenway Park while the Pittsburgh Penguins have looked into Heinz Field and PNC Park.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun later added the number was six and included Nashville and Carolina. The idea was discussed in a Board of Governors call on November 12. The NHL then asked all of the clubs if they were willing to host or play outdoor games.
Further to what @FriedgeHNIC reported, there's at least a half dozen NHL teams looking to host multiple outdoor games this season. Here's my piece detailing what's being looked at in places like Pittsburgh, L.A., Nashville, Carolina, Boston, Dallas…https://t.co/rENdsvU1pD
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 3, 2020
According to LeBrun’s reporting, Buffalo, Minnesota, Tampa Bay, Washington, Philadelphia, New Jersey, and both New York teams were among the teams who answered no and did not want to participate. Canadian teams have also not seriously looked into the idea due to Canada’s strict safety measures.
There are significant hurdles to this becoming real. The NHLPA would have to approve the venue changes, local ordinances would have to allow it, and the plan would cost teams millions of dollars to pull off.
Friedman described the outdoor solution as “a long shot” but for many fans, it is welcome creativity during a miserable year.
Headline photo: Amanda Bowen/RMNB
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.