| Winter CAL-assic?
No outdoor game in SJ
1/8/08 - By Paul Krill
It's been suggested that the
Bay Area might be a good site for an outdoor NHL game, like the one played in
Buffalo last week. But what if the NHL Winter Classic, instead of being held in
Buffalo on January 1 last week, was held at Stanford Stadium on January 4, with
the Sharks playing?
Well, this might have been a problem. Given the
high winds and torrential downpour that day, game conditions would have been,
shall we say, less than ideal. Sales of ponchos and Shark hard hats, to stave
off any flying branches, would have been brisk to the handful of fans that
As we know, Bay Area weather is perfect except when it's
absolutely awful, like when trees and houses are getting knocked down by wind
and rain. But it never gets all that cold and it doesn't snow.
the weather was not so bad, though, how excited would the Bay Area get about
the novelty of this sort of thing? Would there be 50,000 people in the stands
similar to the 70,000-plus that showed up in Buffalo? Despite yours and my
adoration for our Sharks, the Bay Area aint exactly HockeyTown Pacific.
FWIW, I really like the idea of the Winter Classic. It brings the
players back to their roots, when they played on frozen ponds in Saskatchewan,
Alberta, Minnesota, places like that. But in the Bay Area, kids don't play
outdoors - they play inside because there are no frozen ponds here.
will count myself as a Bay Area resident who actually has played hockey
outdoors. I played once or twice on a pond in Denville, NJ. That pond was so
frozen you could drive a car on it. But it wasn't exactly smooth skating out
there, with lots of bumps and an uneven surface.
If we want to play a non-arena game in the Bay Area,
perhaps it should be reflective of where Bay Area kids got their start playing
hockey. So maybe it should be played at the ice rink at Cupertino Square mall,
formerly Vallco Fashion Park. That's where kids get started playing hockey if
they grow up in the Bay Area, don't they? Or, perhaps, we can get players to
put on roller blades and just play the game right on the asphalt in the HP
Pavilion parking lot.
But playing a game in at outdoor stadium? There
are just too many question marks about the weather (Too bad? Too good?) and
public reception (Will enough people fill the stands or just the usual
So, let's keep the NHL's Winter Classic in places where it
belongs: In places cold enough to actually have snow on cars and front lawns.
It doesn't belong in the Bay Area, where the snow remains safely on a
mountaintop in the distance, even if only for a few days.
Sharks host a Winter Classic?
Vote in our debate poll.
Paul at at email@example.com
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