Like it or not, the NHL Stadium Series and the Winter Classic are here to stay. Rumors have suggested that Busch Stadium in St. Louis may serve as host for the 2017 Winter Classic, but beyond that there haven’t been too many discussions as far as other venues either for the Classic or for future outdoor games. A new report suggests that Notre Dame may be a potential venue for an outdoor game after they complete construction to improve the area around Notre Dame Stadium.
Via the Chicago Tribune:
A report from Sportsnet on Saturday indicated the NHL was exploring the option of hosting an outdoor hockey game at Notre Dame, and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the school would have interest in hosting one. But Swarbrick said no talks have taken place.
Presumably, the game would involve the Blackhawks, who hold their training camp at Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena.
There’s no concrete information in this report, but it would make a lot of sense for the NHL. The 2014 Winter Classic held in the Big House at Michigan not only had a great backdrop, but also attracted a huge attendance of 105,491 fans. College football stadiums are much more lucrative due to the fact a larger volume of tickets can be sold compared to MLB stadiums or even NFL stadiums – a fact the league undeniably loves.
Notre Dame has stated they’d be open to hosting other events outside of football at the stadium once the construction work is complete, but they haven’t had any formal talks with the NHL at this time.
The last line of the report suggesting the Blackhawks would be involved isn’t exactly a surprise either. The training camp connection aside, the NHL has continually demonstrated that they want the club involved in their outdoor games (an honor the Blackhawks feel they deserve), so it’s a logical participant. No telling who they would face, but it would be a pretty special venue.