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How the NHL Can Improve the Winter Classic

From Dave Kolb at Bleacher Report:

While the National Hockey League certainly has done right, by creating the wildly popular Winter Classic in 2008, the event continues to evolve.

One notable add came this year by implementing the Winter Classic Alumni Game. Amazingly, it sold out, and filled Citizens Bank Park. Who would have thought that Eric Lindros, Mark Messier and all the former Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers would have that type of drawing power?

The truth is, they don’t. Put that game inside, and it would barely sell out an 18,000 seat arena—if it sold out at all.

The attraction is the outdoor game, and all the fanfare that accompanies it.

While the Winter Classic has certainly become a major hit, the game and all its festivities is still a work in progress, and can still be improved by Commissioner Gary Bettman.

Click here for more from Kolb.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: 2012+nhl+winter+classic, dave+kolb

Comments

SYF's avatar

#2 - Winter Classic in-Stadium Site-Lines Needs Improvement;

For the University of Michigan-Michigan St. Big Chill game in the Big House, in Ann Arbor in December 2010 they drew 85,541 paid customers.

Guinness said it was, “104,000” at the turnstiles, meaning actual ticket count that attended the game.  The paid stipulation in that statement is dubious because initially, the record was 113,000 PAID.  Guinness used the turnstiles count because those were actual attendees at “The Cold War.”

Posted by SYF from The Revenge of Johnny E on 01/09/12 at 06:31 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

One notable add came this year by implementing the Winter Classic Alumni Game. Amazingly, it sold out, and filled Citizens Bank Park. Who would have thought that Eric Lindros, Mark Messier and all the former Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers would have that type of drawing power?

I was at an alumni game at the WC in Pittsburgh…they limited the tickets to 10,000 unfortunately, but this was not the first instance.  I don’t recall, but did the Bruins have something similar the year before?

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Chicago, IL on 01/09/12 at 06:49 PM ET

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Jon Bon fuching Jovi?

Right…

And what makes 24/7 so good is that it’s taking place in a compressed amount of time, building up quickly to the Winter Classic.  To have something starting in October would miss the point.  Think about how disjointed the Claude Giroux “story” would be.  He starts off well, becomes the leading scorer and then disappears while he’s out with the concussion.  Or what about Pronger?  You could start the season with a storyline about the new captain of the Flyers, but then after two weeks he’s gone for two, then back for one and then gone for the rest of the season.  Imagine a season of a drama that you like in which one of the main characters disappears for weeks at a time and then just drops out of the series without any kind of satisfactory conclusion.

Posted by Garth on 01/09/12 at 06:50 PM ET

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This is the transformation of the league into theatre.  They could improve the outdoor game by respecting regular league play and host, instead, a weekend long 3-on-3 all-star tournament.

Posted by TearsforColtonOrr on 01/10/12 at 01:42 AM ET

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Posted by TearsforColtonOrr on 01/09/12 at 11:42 PM ET

a) How would that improve anything?  How would they pack 40,000+ people into a stadium to watch shitty shinny games?
b) How are they not respecting regular league play?

Posted by Garth on 01/10/12 at 10:01 AM ET

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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

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