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NHL’s Gary Bettman On Outdoor Game At Dodger Stadium: “When You Look At Hockey In Southern California, It Works”

NHL STADIUM SERIES MEDIA DAY COVERAGE: Frozen Royalty’s comprehensive coverage of the NHL Stadium Series Media Day at Dodger Stadium begins with remarks from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Stan Kasten from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Luc Robitaille from the Los Angeles Kings, and Bruce Boudreau from the Anaheim Ducks. Next up: comments from Kings and Ducks players on the outdoor game in January 2014.


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LOS ANGELES — Nearly three years ago, not long after the National Hockey League’s Winter Classic was held at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was in Los Angeles, and he took some time to meet with the media.

At that time, yours truly asked Bettman why the NHL had not considered Los Angeles as a venue for an outdoor game, noting that the Kings had already set a precedent for successfully playing such a game in a warm climate when they faced the New York Rangers in a pre-season game at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas back in September 1991.

Bettman was taken aback by my question.

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Will The NHL’s Winter Classic Ever Come To Southern California?

Logo courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — Heinz Field in Pittsburgh has long since been converted back into a football stadium after the National Hockey League’s 2011 Winter Classic, played on January 1. But, since then, there has been a lot of talk about other NHL cities that want to host the annual outdoor game.

To be sure, a lot of NHL cities, especially in colder regions of the United States, are already lined up, waiting for their chance to host the annual spectacle, and, if you listen to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, only cities with cold weather will host the Winter Classic.

“I think, for the foreseeable future, it’s more likely than not we’ll continue to do it in climates that we hope will be more hospitable, and we saw what happened in Pittsburgh this year,” said Bettman, noting that the NHL had to deal with unseasonably warm temperatures and rain, forcing them to turn a day game into an evening contest, starting at 5:00 PM Eastern time.

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