Outdoor games continue to be a topic the NHL loves to talk about. While they’re planning future outdoor games at more U.S. service academies, they’re also developing plans to bring outdoor games to cities who haven’t previously hosted one. Nashville may be at the top of that list.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was recently in Nashville to honor David Poile for becoming the general manager with the most wins in league history. Between praising Poile, Bettman mentioned that “we could see” an outdoor game in Nashville, though scheduling may prove difficult.
Bettman’s comments, as seen on the Tennessean:
“We could see an outdoor game. I mean, there’s scheduling issues, logistical issues. You have a college bowl game (Music City Bowl) that could interfere with a Winter Classic. We have to look at a lot of permutations, but Nashville has done an outstanding job any time we’ve held an event here, not the least of which was the All-Star Game.”
Though a Winter Classic may be tricky to schedule, the league should be able to figure out some kind of outdoor game in Nashville in the near future. Some kind of Stadium Series game could be played in Nissan Stadium with relatively little scheduling difficulty.
Bettman went on to note that the city has become a destination for a variety of reasons.
“This has really become a destination city in a whole host of ways. I could envision us doing an outdoor game here. I can’t give you a timetable and I can’t exactly give you the specifics because there’s a lot of things logistically we would have to work out. But it’s something we have our eye on.”
Nashville is no stranger to hosting league events. They held the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and the 2016 NHL All-Star Game. An outdoor game, particularly after the Predators’ strong 2016-17 season, seems like a logical next step.
Besides, it’d be nice to see some new teams competing out in the elements rather than the usual cast of characters.