Now that the NHL has hosted an outdoor game successfully in California, will the league target southern areas such as Florida or Texas? Gary Bettman has already rained on the idea of Florida hosting a Winter Classic or Stadium Series game, but is Texas still a possibility? According to Dallas Stars president Jim Lites, an outdoor game in Texas is “probably a ways off.”
Lites’ comments, as seen in the Dallas News, don’t rule out a game in Texas, but he openly admits that he’d prefer to see his team involved in an outdoor game first before attempting to host one.
“It’s not something that has been talked about much lately, so it’s sort of up in the air. I would prefer if we were a visitor first and had a chance to go through the experience before we tried to host one, but you sort of just react to what the league tells you.
I think the natural venue is AT&T Stadium, because it would add to the entire experience, and that venue just isn’t available in January. I think if we can work with the schedule makers and look for an opening in February, it could work, but that’s probably a ways off.”
As for the Stars experiencing an outdoor game as the visitor, that may not be too far off. Rumors have suggested that the Minnesota Wild are a candidate to host an outdoor game as soon as 2015-16, but there hasn’t been an opponent linked to the game. The Stars are an obvious choice considering their roots as the Minnesota North Stars.
Even if Texas and the Stars aren’t hosts of an upcoming outdoor game, here’s to hoping the NHL starts spreading things out and starts selecting new teams to play in events such as the Winter Classic.