San Jose Sharks Want Outdoor Hockey Game; Do We Really Need It?


Oooo. Hockey in a baseball stadium. Spiffy. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

After Saturday night’s outdoor game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles played to almost universally rave reviews, it would appear the San Jose Sharks are a step closer to being able to host an outdoor game in the Bay Area at some undetermined date in the future.

The San Jose Mercury News reported on Friday that the Sharks were interested in bringing an outdoor game to a stadium near you in the Bay Area and that the team was told a lot of that decision would hinge on how well things went in L.A.

Another factor is whether or not the NHL wants to continue the outdoor games at all. The league has staged at least one game in a baseball or football stadium since 2008 and upped the ante this year with somewhere in the neighborhood of 713 of them (OK, only four additional games in something it calls a “Stadium Series”).

I realize I might be in the minority on this one, but if the NHL was to scrap the idea of these outdoor games altogether, I’d be thrilled. But then again, I’ve never needed shiny things to distract my attention from following the game.

Who’s playing halftime at the Super Bowl? I’m not sure I could tell you without the use of Google because I could not possibly care less. It really is not possible. Leagues playing regular season games in Mexico, Great Britain, Australia, Japan or Jupiter’s moon, Europa?  Hate it. Really hate it.

The whole point of the “regular season” is that it is regular, as in every team faces the same conditions. The same number of games at home as away. The equation changes when you suddenly take home games away from teams in order to make them play games in Outer Slobovia. Let’s say they lose that game. Then they miss the playoffs by a game. Think they couldn’t have used that extra home game then?

I get that professional sports is all about the pursuit of cold, hard cash. But I find it just a little bit insulting that the leagues think that I, as a fan, am so stupid and unaware that I need all of the extra garbage to maintain my interest.

I freely admit I’m probably in the minority on this one. But the thought of another bunch of outdoor hockey games in the NHL next season leaves me with an overwhelming feeling of “meh” … whether the game is to be played in Santa Clara, San Francisco or Saskatchewan.