By John Vivirito
The National Hockey League plans to enjoy the great outdoors much more this season. Fueled by the success of its recent outdoor Winter Classic events, the NHL will offer fans six regular-season games alfresco in 2014, establishing a new single-season record over the previous mark of two.
The decision to add more outdoor games to the lineup was announced earlier this year, and fans across the country will benefit, with contests scheduled at Yankee Stadium in New York City; Soldier Field in Chicago; Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles; and BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia. In announcing the decision to expand the schedule earlier this year, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league welcomed the chance to increase the number of outdoor games. “This is a fan-oriented, fan-driven event, and that’s why we’re doing so many games—so we can bring it to more fans,” he said.
In a season with a new divisional alignment and no NHL All-Star Game for the second consecutive year (last year’s was canceled due to a labor dispute and this year’s is off owing to a 17-day midseason break for the Olympic Winter Games), the new outdoor events—being billed as the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series—will seek to provide a regular-season boost to the league’s 97th year of operation.
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