Outdoor Ice Hockey in Southern California

20131218-154416.jpgDear Lord, what are they thinking?

I understand the reasoning behind the NHL Stadium Series. NHL brass, NHL players, Canadian fans, and northern USA fans all grew up playing outdoor ice hockey. They’re nostalgic. The NHL is betting on that nostalgia, and on the fact that the teams they’ve selected for the series sell out their indoor arenas regularly. Surely, they think, between longing for the Good Old Days, and pent-up fan demand, we can sell out these huge stadia at unreasonable prices.

This reasoning has worked well for the Chicago-Pittsburg game, which is already sold out. None of the others has sold out, yet. I can’t say whether the Los Angeles-Anaheim game will sell out, but it will do so, or not, without me.

I looked into buying tickets, as I haven’t seen an NHL game in quite some time. I was thinking that seats might be less expensive in order to fill such a large venue. Instead, I got a nosebleed looking at the prices. They are more expensive than seats in Staples Center, for crummy Dodger Stadium seats where you’ll need the Hubble Telescope to see the game. So, I should pay more to see this game… why?

Nostalgia for outdoor hockey? I’m a Southern girl. Ice is what you put in tea. I can’t help thinking that much of the Southern California fan base sees the terms “outdoor” and “hockey” in the same sentence and asks “Why?”

And oh yes, there are significant weather challenges for outdoor ice venues here in Los Angeles. January has its occasional sunny days where the temperature rises past 80F. Alternatively, it could be raining. Not snowing, raining. It’s the rainy season here.

They better have some darn good refrigeration under that rink, or the Kings and the Ducks will be playing water polo.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy watching Kings prospects on the Ontario Reign play hockey indoors, as God intended California hockey be played.


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