Next NHL Winter Classic to Justify Cost of Yankee Stadium

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The new Yankee Stadium, before some of the seats (or the hockey rink) were installed. Photo: Getty Images

Since we’re all apparently footing more of the bill than expected for the new Yankee Stadium, we may as well get our money’s worth. So we’re totally onboard with the idea of the stadium hosting next year’s now-annual outdoor NHL Winter Classic hockey game. The stadium’s been rumored as an option for a while now, but new reports confirm that it’s a leading contender, and, looking at the other options, it would appear to be the most logical choice. And even if “logic” isn’t always the NHL’s strong suit, we’re pretty sure this is going to happen, if only by default.

One of the two new potential venues mentioned in the reports, the Vegas strip, is too gimmicky even by outdoor–hockey game standards. The other, the Rose Bowl, tends to be occupied on New Year’s Day (when the Winter Classic is played) by, you know, the actual Rose Bowl game. Fenway Park would make sense, considering the success of this year’s game at Wrigley Field, but off-season construction work would prevent that from happening for at least a couple of years. And while a game at Penn State’s Beaver Stadium in front of some 107,000 fans would be great, it would mean Pittsburgh playing twice in three years, which is unlikely.

Of course, there are benefits to playing in New York, too: the media attention, the aesthetics of an Original Six team skating under the stadium’s classic frieze, the possibility of A-Rod’s lips turning a new shade of purple in the cold if he attends. Actually, that alone would be worth the price of admission.