The San Jose Sharks are expected to host an outdoor game for the coming 2014-2015 season, though the venue has yet to be decided. This is according to CSNBayArea.com citing multiple sources, and also states that the venue will be one of two locations; either AT&T Park in San Francisco or Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which is set to open this season.
All of this comes to light after there have been plenty of rumors dating back to the last year, though things were less set in stone then.
There would be issues with both venues, but with AT&T Park being a bit smaller and therefore easier to fill, as well as it’s great views of the bay, it seems a great choice. On the other hand the yet to be minted Levi’s Stadium is much closer to San Jose and in my opinion could definitely be filled to capacity, depending on ticket prices. Still, since the stadium has yet to even be used, there are much more questions regarding hosting anything there, let alone a major event for a sport that it was not intended to host.
Even San Franciso Giants CEO Larry Baer is in favor of this move, going so far as to say “our ballpark is perfect” when referring to AT&T Park. The ballpark in San Francisco would also be a good choice because it could help spread hockey to other parts of the Bay Area. San Francisco did have the Bulls ECHL hockey team for a couple of years before they recently folded.
The likeliest of opponents is definitely the Los Angeles Kings who have developed quite the rivalry with the San Jose Sharks over the past few years. In fact, you could say it’s one of the best rivalries in the NHL today along the lines of that between the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks in the NFL because both teams adamantly hate each other.
It would be especially fitting after this past season’s playoff exit (yes, it still hurts to mention) for the Sharks who no doubt want some semblance of revenge against their SoCal rivals. The Kings are also appearing in the Stanley Cup for the second time in three years, so again I’m sure the San Jose Sharks organization as a whole is chomping at the bit (no pun intended) to get back at the Los Angeles Kings anyway they can.