This is amazing! The NHL will be playing outdoor games after all this year. After plans to start the 2020-21 season outside fell through and the Winter Classic and Stadium Series were cancelled due to COVID it looked like outdoor games were not going to happen this year. But outdoor games are too much fun to not happen. Some things can’t be recreated in a stadium. Like the chance of snow, and the sound of skates echoing on a frozen lake. Or playing in the fresh air.
So the NHL couldn’t let the 2020-21 season happen without any outdoor games. To make up for the postponed outdoor games the NHL and Lake Tahoe Resorts will be hosting two outdoor games. And they’re going to be played on the 16th, 17th, and 18th, holes of the Lake Tahoe golf course. The course is home to a celebrity golf tournament. So the scenery there is phenomenal. This season is going to have limited fan engagement so making the games as cool as possible on television is kind of a must. It’s a unique way to build fan engagement when their will be little opportunity to do so. And if the NHL is playing in this location then they are on the right track to building more fan engagement.
They could play on the pond or the lake and it would not matter, both would look amazing. Although it doesn’t look like the pond is actually big enough to fit a hockey rink. If it is that is a scary looking golf hole. This game is going to look so beautiful on tv. It is going to be a dream outdoor game for all the hockey guys that love to golf as well. Kind of like myself, and a lot of other hockey guys. It might even draw some golfer’s attention.
And to make this even better? The teams playing are the Colorado Avalanche, the Vegas Golden Knights, the Boston Bruins, and the Philadelphia Flyers. All great, competitive teams. Plus they are all division matchups. So you know these are going to be fun games to watch. The Colorado Avalanche are taking on the Vegas Golden Knights on February 20th. While the Boston Bruins are playing the Philadelphia Flyers the next day.
It’s part of the NHL’s “Mystery Alaska” experiment according to Elliot Friedman of Sportsnet. A two day, four team, “Outdoor Showcase” weekend with back to back games. There won’t be any fans in attendance, and this is a one time event. But if it goes well maybe the NHL will consider doing this again next year with fans. Because this gives the tv broadcasters a chance to do something different with the cameras. Like drones. Or maybe the NHL can get one of those 4K cameras that FOX uses for NFL games. There’s a lot of possibilities to make this game look really cool. No matter what it sounds like it’s going to be an awesome event. And hopefully this “Outdoor Showcase” goes well so the NHL could expand upon it and introduce fans to a weekend of outdoor hockey.
Will it suck that fans won’t be there yeah? But if it sounds anything like this on my tv? Then it might be the most enjoyable hockey game to watch of all time. Watching Oskar Lindbolm, Nathan Mackinon, Brad Marchand, Marc Andre Fluery and the rest of the players in this kind of setting would be unreal.