I know, I know – the above headline looks kind of odd.
After all, how can a hockey game be held outdoors in sunny Los Angeles, where temperatures in the winter often reach 70 degrees and up?
And in a baseball stadium no less?
Apparently the NHL has figured out how to pull it off, because according to the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Kings and the Anaheim Ducks – currently in the middle of their first round playoff series as they are tied at two games apiece with the St. Louis Blues and the Detroit Red Wings, respectively – are slated to play in one of six outdoor Winter Classic games next season, facing off at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, January 25, 2014, at 7:00 p.m.
The Kings played one previous outdoor game in Las Vegas in 1991, but that didn’t work so well as bad ice and grasshoppers in the desert climate marred the occasion. Due to advanced technology as far as keeping the ice cold and game-ready, however, the NHL is able to have an outdoor game in Southern California.
The fact that the rink will be built at night, laid out from first base to third base with reflective thermal blankets covering the ice during the day to protect it – as well as the game being played at night – also helps logistics.
The Kings, according to the Times, had wanted this game for years and had actively lobbied to the NHL to stage it. It will undoubtedly be a huge event as with the capacity at Dodger Stadium being 56,000, it will guarantee the largest audience to ever watch a hockey game not only in Los Angeles or California, but on the entire West Coast.
This is not a bad development at all, considering that there almost wasn’t a season this year due to the NHL lockout and deep animosities between the league and the players.
“We’re trying to…give more people an opportunity to tailgate and celebrate around hockey,” NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins commented. “I like the idea of tailgating in shorts.”