I have to admit I was a skeptic about the popularity of last years (really this years) out door NHL New Year's Day game. I always thought New Years Day was reserved for college bowl games, but the NHL gave the NCAA a run for its money last year bringing in 71,000 fans to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres in a shootout.
This year (or really next year) is only going to be better. The Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Stanley Cup Champions Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Wrigley can't hold 70,000 but the novelty of having it at the stadium is worth the reduction of attendance. I have been to Wrigley to see the Cubs, but it would be even sweeter to see a frozen pond and some of the toughest NHL players hitting the boards. I would love to go to that game! Being from the Hockey WILDerness, I can easily take below freezing temps to see a good hard hitting game. I wonder when tickets go on sale?
It would be sweet to see the Minnesota Wild pull something like this off. Perhaps in that new outdoor Twins Stadium in 2011 or the new Gopher TCF Bank Stadium. This is the Hockey WILDerness - we deserve an outdoor game . . . at some point.