There will be no All-Star in the NHL this season because of the 2014 Sochi Olympics, but could the NHL be looking at a future All-Star game being held outdoors after the success of outdoor games in California, Chicago, New York and Michigan, among others?
ESPN.com’s Craig Custance takes a look at that possibility in his mailbag column.
“There’s no doubt that the All-Star Game has grown stale, but there’s potential for revival there. I like the idea of an outdoor game and I think the All-Star Game would give the league an opportunity to hit some nontraditional spots because you don’t necessarily need to draw a huge crowd for it the way they do for the Winter Classic.”
The NHL has tweaked its All-Star game in the past going from a standard East vs. West setup to a North America vs. the World format, so the willingness to think outside the box to keep the game intriguing is there.
An outdoor game would be a great way to market the game to the fans as well as bring in young people who aren’t currently NHL fans. A warm-weather city like Las Vegas, where an outdoor exhibition was played more than 2 years ago, could be an appealing location according to Custance.
If not for an ‘Original 6′ city, I can imagine the players, coaches and media would have no qualms about invading ‘Sin City’ for a few days.