I’ve never seen an outdoor stadium hockey game, and I’ve had my fill of watching them on TV. Three days after Team Canada faced the Americans outside during the World Junior Hockey Championships in Buffalo, the Sabres took on the Rangers in the annual NHL Winter Classic on Monday.
While the elements are the same for both teams, I don’t find it interesting to watch players compete in weather that limits their skill on television and I wouldn’t enjoy freezing in a baseball or football stadium to watch a game.
I also find that the outdoor games lessen the quality of the television broadcasts.
Having said that, outdoor hockey games aren’t going away any time soon. These are about what makes the world go around: Money!
There have been over 20 NHL outdoor games and the average attendance has been over 54,000. In Buffalo over 40,000 gathered to watch last week’s junior game.
As long as they are profitable, outdoor games will continue.