There has been some buzz regarding the outdoor NHL hockey game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres scheduled on January 1st, 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills. I have read that some Minnesota Wild fans are wishing that Minnesota could host an outdoor NHL event. It’s true that many Minnesotans are big fans of outdoor hockey since that is where our hockey started (on the 10,000 frozen lakes of Minnesota). But honestly why would Wild fans want to leave the grand comfort of the Xcel Energy Center, one of the best hockey arenas in the country? Just to prove we are tough, to show off the high levels of testosterone in the Wild men? I think those goals can be accomplished on the boards of the Xcel with a few big hits and a big "W."
I understand an outdoor hockey game in Minnesota would further bring honor to the tradition of Minnesota hockey, but I don’t think there would be any additional fans or TV viewers just because the game is outside. In fact, on January 1st the College Bowl Games will get more of my attention than ANY hockey game.