I realize I have not put up a great deal of opinion columns on the site recently, and I realize this is a dangerous thing. Especially with the upcoming launch of the newsletter, which leads people to think that the opinions are going to be moved to the newsletter and thus require a paid subscription. Not true at all. The opinions are to stay here on this website. It’s just been that I have had a lot of other issues, including moving, in addition to preparing for the newsletter’s Jan. 5 launch.
Still, I should have been posting something besides scores more often. So here we go…
The NHL bid a lot of bad things to its fan base in the last 10 years, including the only work stoppage in sports to ever kill a whole season, but you have to give them credit for trying things to win people back. And the Winter Classic has been one thing that has worked, elevating to the status of events like baseball’s All-Star Game and the Daytona 500. Yes, while others may have been watching UNT in the Heart of Dallas Bowl on New Year’s Day, I was tuned in to see the Maple Leafs and Red Wings skating on snow in Michigan Stadium.
The NHL is taking the chance this year of expending the concept with the Stadium Series. This will include finding out if this will work in warm weather cities, as the Kings and Ducks will face off in Dodger Stadium later this season.
Which of course begs the question: Could a Stadium Series game ever come to North Texas?
With the Stars’ hold on their tradition of playing New Year’s Eve, and their lack of drawing power, the chance of them in the Winter Classic is pretty much non-existent. And as long as selling out the AAC is a challenge, getting even 30,000 hockey fans into a stadium here may be impossible; maybe in 1999. Which is why an opponent that might draw a large road crowd like the Red Wings or Blues would be a necessity.
But no matter what, let’s get this out of the way:
The game CANNOT be played at JerryWorld.
And no, that’s not just because of what Stars Insider tweeted recently about how Jerry would never allow the Stars in his building because their management structure makes him look stupid.
The Stadium Series is all about taking hockey back to its roots of playing in the open air like they were on their backyard ponds. And the Cowboy’s stadium, whether they want to pretend or not, is not an outdoor facility. It can’t even be called an retractable roof stadium. You may still be able to count on your hands the total number of times Jerry has opened that hole in the roof. Leaving the doors open to allow all the elements in? Would have to check with people like Richie, but I’d guess it’s never happened.
JerryWorld was built for people who want to sit in climate-controlled comfort sipping margaritas and only occasionally checking the score. That’s not what the NHL wants, especially in their Stadium games.
The Cotton Bowl would be a much more viable choice, and I’m sure the city of Dallas would leap at the chance to have another big event there, even if it’s just one time. Rangers Ballpark is another option, although it would not be as aesthetically pleasing for a hockey venue.
Don’t get me wrong. There should be one upcoming event that I would swallow my pride and enter the Boss Hogg Bowl to see, and that is when WrestleMania comes to North Texas – which should happen in another couple of years.
But as far as a Stadium Series hockey game goes, that is one time when the Stars and NHL should leave Jerry out in the cold.
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