As part of the NHL's decision to play six outdoor games next season, including the Winter Classic, Katie Strang at ESPN NY reports that the Rangers will be playing the against the Devils and Islanders at Yankee Stadium during the week leading up to next year's Super Bowl at the Meadowlands.
The Devil game is scheduled for January 26th, while the Islander game will be on January 29th. The Rangers will be the visitors for both games.
The 2014 Winter Classic is scheduled for January 1st in Ann Arbor, Michigan between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
The other three games include the Ducks and Kings at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, the Penguins and Blackhawks at Chicago's Soldier Field on March 1 and the Senators and Canucks at Vancouver's BC Place on March 2.
...you had to figure it was only a matter of time until Bettman killed his signature event. The NHL finally captures the coveted non-hockey fan with the Winter Classic and what do they do? They dilute it and essentially destroy the majesty of this amazing spectacle. The Winter Classic ceases being a big deal as soon as the Rangers step on that Yankee Stadium ice against the Devils.
...i know the NHL is a business and multiple outdoor games will bring in big money, but I have to wonder if it's worth minimizing what's become a must see New Year's Day event.
...remember how great inter-league baseball was when it was first introduced? Sold out crowds and tons of excitement. The reason for that initial popularity was that it was focused on geography and natural rivals. But they got too greedy, extended the format and now they're stuck with half empty ballparks watching the Diamondbacks play the Royals. Expect the same results from these multiple outdoor games in a few years.
...having said that, when do tickets go on sale?
You know what's really sad? That game on the 26th is on the same day as the PRO BOWL. Now we're going to have to listen to jokes about how the Pro Bowl had 5 times as many viewers as the Rangers outdoor game.
This is stupid. I went to the game in Philly and it was PERFECT. The NHL's "super bowl" or "Daytona 500" or "Masters".. Whatever event you want to compare it to. It was a BIG event, with many other events focused around it. Most watched NHL games outside of the Stanley Cup Final. It looks great, it's fun to watch on TV but the atmosphere and experience was amazing in person at the ballpark.
Having 6 of them will change a lot of that. Yeah sure, it will be great to watch all of them for hockey fans, but eventually it will get old. Especially for "casual" fans and even for hardcore hockey fans. The Caps/Pens WC was terrible, as far as hockey goes, but it was fun to watch. If there are 6 of them every year, people will turn it off if the game is boring.
I was thinking they should do something like 3 in 1 day, at most. Have a 1pm game, a 4 or 4:30 game. And one at night, at 8. All on New Years Day. That would be awesome, but stretching out 6 games over 6 different days is stupid. Imagine a New Years Day with Rangers vs. Devils or Islanders at Yankee Stadium @ 1pm. Bruins/Canadiens in Montreal @ 4:30pm. Then Penguins/Flyers at Penn State at 8pm. 3 of the best rivalries in the NHL right now, all in one day. That would be fun, but they couldn't even do that. They dilute the great event and do it even do it the right way.
The allure of one Winter Classic is what made it so amazing. The "Super Bowl" of hockey. Now its all gone and the excitement is gone for greed.
My only hope here is that they put NBC's perch 1 foot above the glass at ice level and Emrick gets hit in the face with a deflection or slapshot, with more games the odds are now in my favor...
I atleast like that they're being smart about timing and working these into the lulls of the other major sports (January games that don't conflict with the Superbowl, March games before March Madness starts).
That being said, they really are watering this down. Playing these outdoor games on Sundays weeknights will really take away from all the other parts of the Winter Classic (tailgating, pregame ceremonies, all weeeknd events). Hopefully they continue to market the Winter Classic as THE main event, and just look to capitalize on the extra seats for these other games, and the allure of them being outdoors. No new sweaters, maybe just a shoulder patch, aired on NBCSports, regular commentators. Just a regular game in a unique environment.
Oh and interleague play was never great. It always sucked and always will. Teams playing different schedules competing for the same playoff spots? Dumb.
Would have preferred playing at Meadowlands vs the Devils... Would be cool letting them play back near old arena and would be a much crazier crowd/experience.. As a Rangers fan it is nice to basically have two extra home games next year but the Devils team and fans are getting completely screwed on this one.. Their organization will be making money off of it I am sure but kind of ridiculous to be playing a "home" game in the city of your rival... I do hope the NHL changes their minds on this and either makes it a Rangers home game or finds a way to get it at MetLife (obviously would have to push it a little earlier because of SB)... Also think 6 games is ridiculous.. Regardless, let's go Rangers.
It's all about the green backs. He sees what one winter classic can bring in so why not have MORE!!! Fuck making them special he want the money money money!!
John, i believe it will be more like having 6 bowl games but 1 is the national championship. I do think 6 is absurd, 3 was better, but understand come new years day after 4 glorious hbo episodes. Everyone will want to watch toronto vs detroit with a possible of 100k fans in the seats. But oncr a week after that. There trying to fit in double the amount a reg nhl team can host and make it special for a few hockey fans who usually wont get this chnce
I can totally see where most of you are coming from in diluting the "novelty" of the Jan 1st Winter Classic game, but from my understanding this is merely part of a Winter Classic series if you will, maybe not using "Winter Classic" name in the secondary games but a series nonetheless.
From a league standpoint I just don't see how it minimizes the Jan 1st game initially. By revenue? I doubt it. Hype? Maybe, but if the revenue and TV ratings are there who cares? This will be a huge cash bonus for the league, not to mention mainstream exposure. But if this is something that continues year after year its hard not to see the Jan 1st game as just another game. But maybe that's ok if that's the direction the league wants to go in. Have one big game and then smaller outdoor games in different venues each year.
One important thing to remember is that the NHL hasn't come close to its full potential in TV deals. The Winter Classics have killed it in TV ratings, and the outdoor games are sure to do well also. This is all about exposure and growing the brand. All they want to do here is expand into markets that haven't experienced an outdoor game yet so they can suck out some untapped revenue streams from fans to sponsors to TV deals.
@TheNYRBlog absolutely 100% spot on!! Ridiculous decision to overkill such a great spectacle!!
@TheNYRBlog great article man
I am so against this...especially since I wanted an actual Winter Classic in NY and now it will be a while till we get one. The Winter Classic will still get more viewers being on New Years Day and having 24/7 to go with it. These other games are just gimmicks I wish the fans wouldn't buy tickets for. But I know that won't happen lol
course Bettman finds away to ruin the great cash cow of the NHL that is the Winter Classic. Again though, I'll take two tickets please hehe
@TheNYRBlog ill take it as long as it's Rangers in NYC .. twice as nice!
@TheNYRBlog my only response is to I buy tickets for Rangers-Isles or Rangers-Devils?
@TheNYRBlog thats bettman sticking it to the game he loves! what a joke
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) It was always going to be a while until we got a Winter Classic. "The Pinstripe Bowl" is booked at Yankee Stadium.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG I wouldn't be shocked to find out that the Rangers ASKED to not these count as home games. They will draw at Garden for 41 home games and fill the stadium with fans for 2 more this way.
@TravelingNYRfan Agree, that right now it's awesome. But in a couple of years, it'll be like any other game.
@BuckarooClub True...but now I wonder if whenever that ends, would the Rangers be high on the list? Then again, by then no one will care about these games so I guess it's a lose-lose situation lol
I kind of like the idea that they're bending all the rules for us. It's like when Springsteen tours. He plays a couple nights all over the world, and then like 15 straight days in NY/NJ. The way I see it, the Rangers are SUCH a big thing, they have no choice but to give us multiple games. We're just that much bigger then everyone else.