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Winter Classic is a bigger event than the Stanley Cup Finals

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Old
01-03-2010, 05:56 AM
  #51
Nalyd Psycho
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Originally Posted by Turboflex View Post
My idea is the NHL should really try and go for some cool locations that will continue this trend. Forget about having to pack 40,000 fans in, make it intimate, for TV, and about the location. Have the game in Central Park, on an aircraft carrier deck, the las vegas strip at night, etc. Real iconic stuff.
That would turn it into a joke in no time flat.

The high attendance is critical because it makes being the host city an event in itself.

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01-03-2010, 09:45 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Alan Jackson View Post
As Mike Milbury aptly put it tonight on Hotstove, "The ****** of the Winter Classic has begun."

Playing the "Winter Classic" under sunny skies and 12 degree weather would ruin the point of playing the game outdoors, would it not?

Jesus. Might as well play the game in bloody Hawaii.

What does he mean, "begun"?


The entire event is a marketing creation. Certainly, the original idea came from Canada with the Oilers/Habs tilt, but there's nothing classic about this event-- yet.

Milbury's attitude shows that people attach their own meaning and significance to the event. Who ever said it had to feature any particular team or player? The selection thus far has had more to do with who NBC feels would be a good ratings draw, by virtue of market size, local interest by fans and some marketable angle (player and/or venue).

The event always has been and will continue to be about marketing the NHL nationally. They hit gold this time and they're going to continue to exploit it.


Where it may fall apart in going to a sunnier location is the "on frozen ponds" angle. That theme resonates with a lot of traditional fans and those who have some predisposed views about the sport and its roots. You see bundled up kids skating around on a pond and it makes sense, it's fitting. The next image evoked is the rosie-cheeked cherubs in mom's kitchen sipping hot cocoa. Maybe that's why you can sell the Classic label, since it hints at traditions and a way of life in cold climates.

Personally I like the peak of winter association (January 1 might as well be the peak of winter) with the only major sport that has roots in the ice and snow. It seems fitting to have hockey take center stage on 1st January in the northern hemisphere.

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01-03-2010, 12:41 PM
  #53
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This event holds meaning to people...you said that yourself Fugu. If you start holding it in Dallas or Las Vegas...or having several outdoor games a year...or hand picking teams for the couple stars you want to play...it loses any meaning. It becomes "just another game".

Not holding it in the biggest stadiums and instead going for "classic" parks and winter regions makes it something special to everyone. A game at the Cowboys Stadium would be special to Jerry Jones and maybe those in attendance.

BMO Field has been scoffed at as an idea because it has no "feeling" to it. It's a generic modern and small stadium. SkyDome would even be better than that.

I believe this event should not be limited to NHL markets. Play it in medium sized college venues in non-NHL markets. That would "grow the game" and still keep it "special". Play a game in Regina or somewhere like that.

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01-03-2010, 01:16 PM
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This is going to seem like a good event until one of them gets delayed for a day or two because of weather.

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01-03-2010, 01:36 PM
  #55
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey93 View Post
This event holds meaning to people...you said that yourself Fugu. If you start holding it in Dallas or Las Vegas...or having several outdoor games a year...or hand picking teams for the couple stars you want to play...it loses any meaning. It becomes "just another game".

Not holding it in the biggest stadiums and instead going for "classic" parks and winter regions makes it something special to everyone. A game at the Cowboys Stadium would be special to Jerry Jones and maybe those in attendance.

BMO Field has been scoffed at as an idea because it has no "feeling" to it. It's a generic modern and small stadium. SkyDome would even be better than that.

I believe this event should not be limited to NHL markets. Play it in medium sized college venues in non-NHL markets. That would "grow the game" and still keep it "special". Play a game in Regina or somewhere like that.
What I'm really getting at is that the event is too new to have long held beliefs or traditions associated with it. For example, unlike the Super Bowl which is played at a predetermined venue regardless of the finalists, the SC is held in the two cities being represented. If you tried to change that, I imagine there would be quite the uproar by fans and perhaps even owners if the $$ didn't add up in their favor.


What we know thus far is that the 'winter' part of the Winter Classic has been well-played with the frozen pond and traditional themes that marketers have used to create that feeling. Who is to say that a different twist couldn't be found for any 'iconic' venue, as long as there is something truly unique about the selection? If you put the game at the Big House in Ann Arbor, I think the angle there would be the fact that it would be the biggest live event possible for the NHL. Unfortunately this venue is also in a traditional market....

My two cents.

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01-03-2010, 01:38 PM
  #56
Jeffrey93
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Originally Posted by GregHickman View Post
This is going to seem like a good event until one of them gets delayed for a day or two because of weather.
From what I understand it would have to pour rain to delay this event. Even then it would have to be a pretty long and steady downpour.

This is where location comes into play, if that happens in a climate that isn't cold....well, the ice will be a pretty big mess. It's also much more likely to happen in a climate like that. If it happens to rain in a location that is typically at or below freezing temperatures that time of year...it probably won't rain long and even if it does...if they can squeegie and pump the rain water of the ice in a decent manner it will have little to no effect.

I don't think it rains very often in Calgary, Regina, Green Bay, etc. in January. Anyway, like I said...from what I understand it would take a freak downpour to delay this event to another date in the locations it has been held so far.

An outdoor game was held in Hamilton, Ontario's Ivor Wynne Stadium during steady rain. The ice held up just fine. I remember one player saying "It wasn't too bad, not great but I've definitely played on much worse." And it rained for basically the entire game until late in the 3rd when it turned to flurries.

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