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Great Moments in Great Ideas: outdoor hockey in Los Angeles

May 24, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

California Sun

Tell me more of this … technology.

As hockey fever grips Los Angeles, Dodgers President Stan Kasten said he plans to explore whether the Kings could play in an NHL Winter Classic game at Dodger Stadium.

“Facility-wise, we could certainly handle it,” Kasten said … Kasten, former president of the NHL Atlanta Thrashers, said technology would allow ice to remain playable for an outdoor hockey game at Dodger Stadium but said he was unsure if the league would be interested.

Seriously, though: at past Winter Classics, wasn’t everyone concerned about the ice when it was pushing 40 degrees outside?  Can someone help me out here and explain to me how outdoor hockey can be viable in a place where the average December/January high is 68 degrees?

  1. The Baseball Idiot - May 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

    Outdoor hockey in LA would be a unique event. It would most certainly attract the ‘beautiful people’ who will gladly pay upwards of $1000 for a ticket for a game they don’t even like.

    The collective ‘coolness’ of the crowd, lead by Jack and Dyan, will certainly provide the needed effect to keep the ice from melting.

  2. pauleee - May 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    Forget ice quality. Dodger Stadium is no where near big enough to hold ALL of those Kings fans, which certainly must number in the 10s of millions, now that they’ve made it to the Cup finals. Seriously, you can’t turn around without running into a “hard-core fan”. Uh, yeah.

    Apologies to the real Kings fans out there (you know who you are), but damn, you suddenly have lots of bandwagoners.

    • proudlycanadian - May 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      I think that the person who came up with the idea for a “Winter Classic” in LA is either suffering from sunstroke, or has a concussion. Winter in LA? Come off it!

      • proudlycanadian - May 24, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        One further question! Since their is a much larger stadium in Pasadena, why not hold the Winter Classic there on January 1?

      • Kevin S. - May 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM

        I’m guessing that was sarcasm, but just in case it wasn’t… Pasadena’s a little busy on Jan 1.

      • proudlycanadian - May 24, 2012 at 12:48 PM

        Of course, it was a tongue in cheek comment Kevin. I realize that there might be a scheduling conflict in Pasadena on Jan 1, but the Winter Classic is usually scheduled for New Year’s, because there is a surplus of football on TV are that time. Furthermore the elite football teams rarely play in Pasadena anymore. If someone really want the Winter Classic to be played in balmy LA, why not go all in?

      • umrguy42 - May 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

        “Kasten, former president of the NHL Atlanta Thrashers”

        See, I think maybe the problem is that the Atlanta Thrashers are now the (new) Winnipeg Jets, having failed to stay in Atlanta, should tell you all you need to know.

  3. mattintoledo - May 24, 2012 at 10:40 AM

    The technology involves harvesting the souls of the McCourts, I believe.

    • Francisco (FC) - May 24, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      That has to be wrong; we all know the McCourts have no soul…

      • mattintoledo - May 24, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        To clarify, powered by the souls the McCourts must devour to continue their hollow existences.

    • Jonny 5 - May 24, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      See I heard they were going to employ Jamie to stare down the ice until the game ends.

  4. cleverbob - May 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    With enough time and money you can do anything. Whether or not it’s worth all that is another animal.

  5. dowhatifeellike - May 24, 2012 at 10:50 AM

    Considering that the average low temp in LA in January is 49, they could probably play for about 10 minutes if they do it at 4am.

    • brucewaynewins - May 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      To anyone who thinks temperature is a major issue you’re likely wrong. They’ve done outdoor games in Las Vegas before. Here in Cincinnati we have an Ice Rink downtown that stays open outdoors until March I believe. It will operate until the temperature hits 60 degrees on a dry day.

      So we have better ice equipment than the NHL has I suppose?

      I assume if Vegas can do it in warmer than 60 and we in Cincy can do it at up to 60 the NHL can do it in warmer with the right equipment.

      It may be as simple as additive to ice that changes the melting temperature or cooling tiles. Who knows. But if anyone thinks its impossible you’re wrong.

      I can link any doubters to the website proving the 60 degrees part of Cincy.

      • recoveringcubsfan - May 25, 2012 at 7:30 AM

        Watch an NHL game played indoors at any latitude south of Newark; the ice gets very soft and slushy in the corners by the end of the 1st period. Clearly, it’s not a matter of substandard equipment or “bad ice guys” – every team is stocked with Canadians on and off the ice and everybody knows how ice is made and what it does under game conditions. So please.

        No matter what you do, no outdoor rink is going to stay playable for 3 periods in LA.

  6. ndnut - May 24, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    They did it in Vegas years ago, but nobody thought that cities like Buffalo, NY would have trouble with ice melting, so they didn’t buy that package. Please don’t put in LA. That would be a disgrace to the term “winter classic.” put it in Minneapolis, Denver, or Columbus before putting it in the south, southeast, or southwest.

    • Francisco (FC) - May 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      Oh I don’t know… Consider Hockey, a Winter Sport, it’s championship game is played in May…warm weather… Consider Baseball, a Summer Sport, it’s championship game is played in October… cool weather… hmm…

    • kopy - May 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM

      Considering that many Minnesota high school hockey teams call an outdoor rink their home ice for the whole season, a Winter Classic would make too much sense. Gotta be new and edgy!

      It’s all marketing for the NHL. Being cold in the winter isn’t enough. The Minnesota Wild (and Denver and Columbus) need to be playoff contenders before they can host a winter classic.

      My great fear, though, is that Minnesota will put together a great franchise, but still lose the Classic to larger markets that will bring in more TV revenue.

  7. cur68 - May 24, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    What the hell, man? Outdoor hockey with palm trees waving? GtFOOH. Just ’cause y’all can do something doesn’t mean you should, right? This, while not beyond current technology, would be ridiculously expensive. Isn’t your economy and energy situation bad enough? Does the concept of economizing a bit really just mean: “buy a Prius”?
    I don’t mean to be Mr. Killjoy, here, but this “California Outdoor Hockey” idea should in no way be a priority. Its a massive expense for not that much return.

  8. Old Gator - May 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

    “….where the average December/January high is 68 degrees?”

    I need a little more data before I can answer. Was that before or after the legalization of med-weed?

  9. WhenMattStairsIsKing - May 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM


  10. natstowngreg - May 24, 2012 at 11:30 AM

    True, past Winter Classics have been played in temperatures above the freezing point of water. At least as big a concern was rain duting the game.

    The idea of the Winter Classic was to connect the NHL to its roots. Places where the temperature does dip below the freezing point of water during the winter, Places where NHLers played on frozen ponds and outdoor rinks as kids. In that regard, iit’s been a big success. Playing it in places where there are no frozen ponds and outdoor rinks would be a joke, IMHO.

  11. mybrunoblog - May 24, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    The hockey winter classic in LA is a great idea. Soon to be followed by a world class ice fishing tournament in Miami.
    My goodness you can’t make this stuff up.

  12. jwbiii - May 24, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    The frozen ponds of Los Angeles are calling.

    Or maybe they aren’t.

  13. chap6869 - May 24, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Hockey played outside in 65 degree weather, we used to play that all the time. It’s called street hockey! Break out the orange pucks boys.

  14. dallasstars9 - May 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    If they’re able to play an outdoor game in Las Vegas during the summer with 80+ degree heat, I’m sure they can figure out a way to make this work.

  15. juanhughjazz - May 24, 2012 at 9:34 PM

    I think they should figure out how to make ice in their arena before they attempt this. I’m sick of watching hockey on crappy ice.

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