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Bettman On The Outdoor Games

from the CP at TSN,

"If you're looking at it on a national basis, obviously we're doing more," commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday at Yankee Stadium, which will host two games in January. "But for teams and markets that want to host this (event), for fans that want to attend, we can't do enough of them."

In Canada and the United States, the NHL's "Stadium Series" that includes stops at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium, Chicago's Soldier Field and Yankee Stadium and the Heritage Classic in Vancouver might not get as much attention as the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich. But within those areas, they're can't-miss events.

"The reason we're doing more outdoor games is really what it's now doing locally," Bettman said. "This is an incomparable event and what happens is fans get connected to the game in ways they never imagined, we get new fans who, for the first time, will come and be a part of this. This is a fan-oriented, fan-driven event, and that's why we're doing so many games so we can bring it to more fans."

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Filed in: NHL Teams, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink


awould's avatar

“If you’re looking at it on a national basis, obviously we’re doing more,” commissioner Gary Bettman said Thursday at Yankee Stadium, which will host two games in January. “But for teams and markets that want to host this (event), for fans that want to attend, we can’t do enough of them.”

WTF does that even mean? If you’re looking at what we’re doing, we’re doing more. But if you only look at one of the events, then we’re only doing one. If you expand that to include 30% of what we’re doing, we’re doing 30% of it.

My guess is, for markets that want the game, the NHL *could* do too many which will lead to markets no longer wanting the game because the novelty will wear off and nobody will care anymore. Maybe make each market wait their turn. Just because they throw a tantrum is no reason to give in every time.

Posted by awould on 08/08/13 at 05:47 PM ET

NHLJeff's avatar

awould, what I believe he is trying to say is that, nationally, it may seem like overkill.  However, within many markets throughout the league, the teams and communities have strong desire for their own outdoor games. So they’re giving them games even though it may seem like too many overall because the local markets will appreciate and support the games and, most notably, pour a lot of money into the games.  Even if the national novelty, especially from a TV perspective, wears off, the league will still make a killing in the markets.

Posted by NHLJeff from Pens fan in Denver on 08/08/13 at 06:14 PM ET

awould's avatar

I got what he was saying, I just think it’s a stupid idea… also, it read weird, which was my initial thought on the quote.

But basically they’re trying to have it both ways. It’s a huge game because it’s a special event! So let’s have it everywhere all the time!

Reminds me of the Simpsons episode where Homer got to design his own car and decided he’d put an antenna ball on every car so everyone could find their car.

Posted by awould on 08/08/13 at 07:14 PM ET


The way Bettman is screwing this up is that everything is special until it isn’t.

Once upon a time a shootout was really, really cool too.  Now?  Enh.  The one cool move you see a month is nice, but that’s about it.

What Bettman is (stupidly) doing is saturating the market for outdoor games in the chase for short term bucks at the expense of long-term stability.

This is his M.O.

Yes, I’m sure as he works his way through outdoor games in the 15ish cities that can have them they’ll each sell fairly well and bring a nice short term bump to the bottom line of the league.

Are people going to want to spend as much to go to the third or fourth or fifth outdoor game for their team?  No way.  That’s the ending Bettman’s policy is heading towards.

Posted by HockeyinHD on 08/08/13 at 08:19 PM ET

Figaro's avatar

Gary Bettman is Lennie Small and the outdoor games are a cute little puppy that he loves so very, very much.  We all know what happens.

Posted by Figaro from Los Alamos, NM on 08/08/13 at 08:22 PM ET

Steve in San Francisco's avatar

Can someone loan Mr Bettman a map and explain to him that Dodger Stadium is in Los Angeles, CA? Where people go in the winter to escape the cold? Despite the best efforts of the best ice people in the NHL, the ice was horrible during the last Winter Classic in Pittsburgh!

Posted by Steve in San Francisco on 08/08/13 at 09:11 PM ET

Mistercristo's avatar

Awould, at this point, that whole car is the NHL, with Homer as bettman.

Posted by Mistercristo from Cameron Frye's garage, circa 1987 on 08/08/13 at 11:36 PM ET

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