According to a report, the San Francisco Giants have had some preliminary discussions with the San Jose Sharks and the NHL about staging an outdoor hockey game at AT&T Park.
According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, the Sharks are hopeful to get to host an outdoor game next season. The NHL is expected to consider several options for a venue if the Sharks are chosen, including AT&T Park, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara or Stanford Stadium.
“Our ballpark would be perfect,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said. “A lot has to happen with the NHL and how these things get planned, but we’d love to do it. We think it would be a great partnership. We have a fair amount in common (with the Sharks) in the way we approach presenting our games. I think it would be an easy marriage and great for the fans.”
Maybe I am the proverbial stick in the mud on this topic, but I think the NHL has gone way overboard in its pursuit of outdoor hockey. After hosting a single regular-season game from 2008-12, the league went insane with outdoor games this season, scheduling a total of six, with the last two coming this weekend when the Pittsburgh Penguins play the Chicago Blackhawks at Soldier Field in Chicago on Saturday and the Ottawa Senators facing the Vancouver Canucks at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Sunday.
Prior to 2008, the NHL had held just one outdoor regular-season game, a November 2003 meeting between the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers held at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta.
There were two other outdoor games in NHL history, both exhibitions. The New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings played a September 1991 preseason game at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and the Detroit Red Wings traveled to the Marquette Branch Prison in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to play a team of prisoners in February 1954.