In the last few days, all of the local papers have jumped on the rumours that the NHL will hold an outdoor game next season at Yankee Stadium before it gets the Ebbets Field treatment.
I think its a bad idea. I said it before, and I am saying it again - primarily because people aren't thinking this through. Everyone is just going 'yeah, hockey outside, cool! I saw that game on New Years and it looked neat. And in New York? Wowsers!' Reread my post from January and then take these other factors into consideration as well:
*One of main pitch-points for the prior two outdoor games were how the game was 'going back to its roots' by playing outside. Well, not a whole lot of players from New York made it to the NHL and the two best, the Mullen brothers, got their start playing on wheels in Hells Kitchen. Unless they are going to put a game out on 42nd and 11th then it has no historical significance being in the city.
*For as much as I worship hockey and how the Rangers have one of the most dedicated, loyal fans in the game, the sport just isn't part of the fabric of the city. Sure everyone rallied around the Blueshirts when we broke the curse, but that was a human interest story at that point that transcended the sport. New York City is a baseball town, not a hockey town. Having the game here is nothing more than a desperate money grab for the NHL and Madison Ave.
*And taking that a step farther, the game would end up being a corporate event for those who want to see and be seen. Sure some diehards make it, but they are outnumbered. That didn't happen in Edmonton or Buffalo - real hockey fans came out to celebrate the game they loved and in some ridiculous conditions.
*Edmonton had Gretzky skating with Messier in the geezer game beforehand, frigid temperatures and Jose Theodore wearing a toque. Buffalo had Cindy Crosby, tailgating and lake effect snow. What could they possibly come up with to match either of those? They are saying the possible Ranger opponents will be Boston, Detroit or the Islanders ... not exactly teams with star power. Original Six is a concept that is only endearing to hockey fans - it doesn't translate outside of the sport, especially since they really weren't the original NHL teams. There were four teams when the league was founded in 1917 - the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators and the Toronto Arenas. The Rangers didn't come around until 1926 (and promptly won a few cups). After you get past the team name, how do you market guys like Zdeno Chara or Pavel Datsyuk to the United States? It was easy to hitch a ride aboard the Cindy Crosby phenomenon and without a premier name like that, it will be nearly impossible.
*I have to agree with Yankee writer Peter Abraham, who said that the last thing to happen in Yankee Stadium should be a Yankee game. What would you hockey or basketball fans think if they decided to close the Garden with sumo wrestling or rodeo?
The Winter Classic was just that, classic. To try to capture that kind of lightning in a bottle yet again will be a near-impossible task, and in New York to boot?
Fugghet about it.