Monday, September 10, 2007

Out-Door Hockey?

1)Let us start off with saying that we are NOT against the idea of having an out door hockey game. We believe also that the choices of teams, the Penguins and Sabres are a good choice, albeit not our first. Both are young, exciting teams to watch and it will be a great event that hockey surely could benefit from. It is our opinion that they aren’t maximizing their return on the event.

2) First of all, the timing is horrible. New Years Day has always been a huge day for college football. Already the NHL is almost ignored by ESPN/the U.S. media. With this timing, you can pretty much be assured that it won’t get at most a passing glance on New Years Day. For your perusal here a list of the games planned for that day:

  • Outback Bowl – 12:00 p.m. – ESPN

  • Cotton Bowl – 12:30 p.m. – FOX

  • Capital One Bowl –2:00 p.m.– ABC

  • Gator Bowl – 2:00 p.m. – CBS

  • Rose Bowl Bowl – 5:30 p.m. – ABC

  • Sugar Bowl – 9:00 p.m. – FOX

3) This NHL’s version of the Ice Bowl set to take place at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Buffalo Bills, at 3:00 p.m. The rumor(not yet confirmed) is that the game would be carried live on NBC. With that timing of the game during the span of the game itself, you will have to be in competition with two games that will likely be just finishing up, two that just started and another that will just be starting when the hockey game will be finishing up. Who in heck planned this???

4) As for the placement of the game. Buffalo has shown itself to be a decent hockey town with it being in close proximity to hockey crazy southern Ontario to attract hockey fans from those locales, and fill up the estimated 60,000 seats. It is also not a far drive for Pittsburgh fans to make to Buffalo to see their Pens. However, given the unpredictability of the weather in Buffalo, it could be a huge problem. Known for localized snow bursts(or more) off Lake Erie, how would the league handle such a possibility? Have a snow delay? Is there a way to plough snow from an ice surface so play can be resumed, etc?

5) We realize scheduling any out door games has a whole set of unique issues that can arise, but having the game in Buffalo in early winter on a day that almost all of the U.S. will be watching college pig skin, seems to not be the best possible scenarios. What would/could be better?

  • Montreal-Toronto: Played as a home and home, out-doors. Guaranteed to sell as many tickets as you can sell in both venues. Yes, it wouldn't get as much play down in the states, but the Buf-Pitt game won't be getting any exposure anyway.

  • Rangers-Islanders in NYC (Yankee Stadium)- This has been floated, and probably has quite a few issues to be resolved before it could be a reality, but this would get exposure in the biggest American market, and have the rivalry like the above game to make for an intense game.

  • Above all schedule the game(s) when the NHL would get maximum exposure. Geez, why not just have it set for SuperBowl Sunday at 6:00 p.m.?

6) The key therefore in our opinion is the timing of the game. New Years Day would probably NOT be our first choice. We understand the logistics of such an undertaking, but so should the powers that be in the league office. We hope that the weather is good, and that hard core hockey fans aren't too interested in any bowel games, and next time they have more time to get this arranged properly.


Antzmarching said...

1. Outdoor hockey is fantastic - the idea is a winning one... These teams leave a little to be desired... Well, Pitt is fine - the league MUST promote Sid... But, how about the Rag$? They are always a financial asset to the NHL...

2. The timing is laughable - Mr. BUTTman has blown it again with regard to scheduling... This keeps the NHL a second tiered outfit... Its dumb!

3. Its got BUTTman's carbon footprint all over it...

4. Buffalo's appeal league-wide has waned... They are no longer an elite team, and will struggle every night in March just to get into the playoffs... The Rag$ bring home the dough for ratings and NHL promoting...


1) Antz: We can't disagree on any of your counts. The Rangers would most definitely be a better draw ratings-wise. Especially if the game as we mentioned, were held in the 5 boroughs
2) Buffalo isn't a bad choice (Hey knowing Bettman he probably was pushing for Phoenix or Miami) LOL We disagree that they are a not still a very good squad. They are in fact still a team to be reckoned with.
3) That said, Buffalo in early winter can be brutal, and NewYears Day is the WORST possible day (outside of Super bowl Sunday for U.S. interest.

Jibblescribbits said...

I agree with you the timing is suspect.

If you're going to do it New Years day, you are basically scrapping the American viewership off the bat, so you might as well just go with Montreal and Toronto and make it a Canadian affair.

If you are trying to pull in American Viewers, which they are clearly trying to do, why not push it back to the week before the Super-bowl.

The NFL's on a break for a week, College football is long done. NBA and College hoops haven't hit their stride yet, and there wouldn't be much in terms of American Sports on that weekend. It seems like the perfect day/weekend for a (well thought out) marketing gimmick/outdoor hockey game.

I agree with Ants too though, the best way to do that would be Rangers-Penguins at Yankee Stadium. I don't have much problem with Buffalo, but a hockey game with the Rangers in Yankee Stadium would have increased significance.

Jibblescribbits said...

We hope that the weather is good, and that hard core hockey fans aren't too interested in any bowel games, and next time they have more time to get this arranged properly.

Who isn't interested in those? :)


1) Not to get off on a college football tangent, but since they went to the BCS determination it seems to make all but one of the bowels anticlimactic anyway.
2) Really, other than the 'big one, unless 'your school' is playing why watch?

Jibblescribbits said...

Well I was more teasing you on your spelling. College football has Bowl games...

1. Anatomy.
a. Usually, bowels. the intestine.
b. a part of the intestine.
2. bowels,
a. the inward or interior parts: the bowels of the earth.
b. Archaic. feelings of pity or compassion.
–verb (used with object)
3. to disembowel.


1) Oh, someone actually got it!! LOL We were wondering if our coy attempt at humor would be understood. Congrats!

2) We figured Antz would have been the one to notice the "error," as he is always 'editing' this blog for spelling miscues.

Antzmarching said...

Sorry, my red pen was out of order... Jibble beat me to the BOWEL miscue - I will try to do better in the future...

Hey Faux, stop rigging your hit counter, OK???


1) No problem Antz, We figured you'd get a kcick out of that error.
2) Oh my. Can you ever recall anyone so obsessed with a silly, inane, after thought to the blog like a hit counter??


Outdoor hockey is a gimmick that will come then go just as fast. The public will quickly grow tired of the novelty

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