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PrezdeJohnson09
01-16-2017, 12:23 PM
Curious to hear other people's thoughts on this...have we officially jumped the shark on the outdoor games?

I've been having this feeling for at least 3 or 4 years now when the NHL decided to start doing the "Stadium Series" games.

The first Winter Classic in Buffalo? Awesome. You can't top it. All others will be forever measured by that unfortunately. The Winter Classic still kept the momentum rolling the next few years with some other great matchups. The Flyers/Rangers in 2012 was awesome. Chicago/Detroit at Wrigley was great. Toronto and Detroit in the Big House was good.

However, the Stadium Series in my opinion really started to show how diluted this once novelty has become. I couldn't even tell you who the Stadium Series games are this year, but I'm pretty sure there are one or two and I know there were a couple last year.

Now, let's bring it closer to home at the college hockey level.

Frozen Fenway was held for the third time over the last two weeks with what would appear to be mediocre at best success, crowds wise.

Here are all the college games and the attendance figures reported:

Sunday, Jan. 8- BU-UMass: 19547
Sunday, Jan. 8- BC-Providence: 19547

Monday, Jan. 9- BC-Harvard Women: 801

Thursday, Jan. 12- Bowdoin-Conn. College: 1000
Thursday, Jan. 12- UMassBoston-Babson: 1800

Saturday, Jan. 14- Northeastern/UNH: 16432
Saturday, Jan. 14- Maine/UConn: 16432

Obviously the two D1 attendances are a combined amount.

In the first rendition in 2010, BC and BU sold out in a week. In 2012, UVM and UMass played and UNH/Maine and it was sold out. Norwich and Babson played in front of 7000 and Union/Harvard had 9000. In 2014, UMass Lowell/Northeastern and UMaine/BU had 26,000 combined, while Providence/Merrimack and Boston College/Notre Dame had 32,000. Norwich and Babson also played again in 2014 and had 1200 at it.

It was such a great concept, but I just feel like its over done now and attendance figures are showing that. It's a great experience for the student athletes and coaches, no doubt. But, when is enough going to be enough to show that we're trying to do this too much?

Gotta find a way to make it novelty again, and the only thing I can think of is by doing it less and getting different markets, teams and venues involved.

Russell Jaslow
01-16-2017, 12:51 PM
No.

They have not jumped the shark, but they may be oversaturated. There is a difference.

I love the spectacle of outdoor games. Even indoor games in football domes (Detroit Frozen Four, Carrier Dome in Syracuse last year). But, at times only once in a lifetime (i.e., Frozen Four) and other times keep it to a rare spectacle (Winter Classic but no Stadium Series).

Outdoor games is the definition of less is more.

UCfan30
01-16-2017, 12:54 PM
Considering that TV numbers have dropped significantly for these, I'd say the time for the outdoor games in the NHL has come and gone. They were cool to see with just 1 game, but when they started adding the "Stadium Series", it lost the novelty. Stick to the 1 game per year. In the case of college, a similar approach of 1 game per year or having 2-3 would work well. Considering the fact that not every college player might get the opportunity to play outdoors, giving teams a chance to enjoy it would make sense for more than 1 game. For example, a few years ago the Michigan vs. Michigan St. game in the Big House was amazing, biggest crowd to watch a college hockey game. Seemed at that time, the outdoor games were at the peak, same goes when the NHL did it there too. Can't get much bigger than that lol.

KRBFLINT03
01-16-2017, 04:57 PM
The novelty has definitely worn off.

In general, I despise games played in a setting where the capacity far outnumbers the attendance. You see it in high school football a lot. For example, New Jersey plays their state championships at Rutgers. The stadium looks empty.

The final four games at Placid look the same way. The last Norwich game at Fenway looked pathetic.

If you're gonna draw 3,000 (arbitrary number), play these neutral site games in barns that seat somewhere in that neighborhood. The intensity of the game is so much higher when there arent thousands of empty seats.

OZFEST
01-16-2017, 06:11 PM
What Russell said. Love them, but too many.. Limit and create demand.

Transplanted Tiger Fan
01-16-2017, 07:55 PM
It certainly needs to be throttled-back a bit, in my opinion. The outdoor games were a novelty, but they are close to toeing the line of ridiculousness, and therefore Jumping the Shark. I have a bad feeling that they (whomever "they" are) will continue to push the envelope to extremes until it implodes. The venue progression is evidence, with this year being in St. Louis, and Washington DC two years ago. Nothing against these cities, nor do I question the fanbase's love for the game... it's a simple matter of those areas having a high-probability of being inappropriate to host an outdoor game due to climate and climate alone.

Washington DC has an average high/low of roughly 43/28 around the New Year, and an average snowfall of 2.3" in December and 5.6" in January. St. Louis values are fairly comparable, being roughly 41/23 average high/low, with average snowfall being 4.4" in December and 5.6" in January... neither venue being 'winterlike'. With this in-mind, I fear that it's only a matter of time before "they" actually act on the silly-azz idea to have San Diego, Phoenix, or Tampa Bay host one of these outdoor games (note I said "actually act" on it, as I'm sure the idea has already been presented!). It will then truly have Jumped the Shark.

If the outdoor games do continue, and I hope they do, my only request to "them" is to please do so in moderation, and keep the venue selection to 'winterlike' climates.

Cheers!!!
~TTF

joecct
01-16-2017, 08:21 PM
It certainly needs to be throttled-back a bit, in my opinion. The outdoor games were a novelty, but they are close to toeing the line of ridiculousness, and therefore Jumping the Shark. I have a bad feeling that they (whomever "they" are) will continue to push the envelope to extremes until it implodes. The venue progression is evidence, with this year being in St. Louis, and Washington DC two years ago. Nothing against these cities, nor do I question the fanbase's love for the game... it's a simple matter of those areas having a high-probability of being inappropriate to host an outdoor game due to climate and climate alone.

Washington DC has an average high/low of roughly 43/28 around the New Year, and an average snowfall of 2.3" in December and 5.6" in January. St. Louis values are fairly comparable, being roughly 41/23 average high/low, with average snowfall being 4.4" in December and 5.6" in January... neither venue being 'winterlike'. With this in-mind, I fear that it's only a matter of time before "they" actually act on the silly-azz idea to have San Diego, Phoenix, or Tampa Bay host one of these outdoor games (note I said "actually act" on it, as I'm sure the idea has already been presented!). It will then truly have Jumped the Shark.

If the outdoor games do continue, and I hope they do, my only request to "them" is to please do so in moderation, and keep the venue selection to 'winterlike' climates.

Cheers!!!
~TTF

They already played at Dodger Stadium. 70 degrees.

PrezdeJohnson09
01-16-2017, 08:45 PM
It certainly needs to be throttled-back a bit, in my opinion. The outdoor games were a novelty, but they are close to toeing the line of ridiculousness, and therefore Jumping the Shark. I have a bad feeling that they (whomever "they" are) will continue to push the envelope to extremes until it implodes. The venue progression is evidence, with this year being in St. Louis, and Washington DC two years ago. Nothing against these cities, nor do I question the fanbase's love for the game... it's a simple matter of those areas having a high-probability of being inappropriate to host an outdoor game due to climate and climate alone.

Washington DC has an average high/low of roughly 43/28 around the New Year, and an average snowfall of 2.3" in December and 5.6" in January. St. Louis values are fairly comparable, being roughly 41/23 average high/low, with average snowfall being 4.4" in December and 5.6" in January... neither venue being 'winterlike'. With this in-mind, I fear that it's only a matter of time before "they" actually act on the silly-azz idea to have San Diego, Phoenix, or Tampa Bay host one of these outdoor games (note I said "actually act" on it, as I'm sure the idea has already been presented!). It will then truly have Jumped the Shark.

If the outdoor games do continue, and I hope they do, my only request to "them" is to please do so in moderation, and keep the venue selection to 'winterlike' climates.

Cheers!!!
~TTF

Buffalo will be hosting the 2018 Classic I'm sure. No way are they building that outdoor rink at New Era field just for USA/Canada. Also note the date of that game, Dec. 29 instead of the traditional New Years Eve Dec. 31 date they play on. Gives more time to get ready for Jan. 1 winter classic.

Also, Minnesota desperately needs to host this thing in the new future in my opinion. How about Minnesota vs. Dallas or Minnesota vs. Edmonton to get McDavid in the game. Minnesota vs. Colorado would be another good one.

NUProf
01-16-2017, 10:50 PM
However, the Stadium Series in my opinion really started to show how diluted this once novelty has become. I couldn't even tell you who the Stadium Series games are this year, but I'm pretty sure there are one or two and I know there were a couple last year.



Also, Minnesota desperately needs to host this thing in the new future in my opinion. How about Minnesota vs. Dallas or Minnesota vs. Edmonton to get McDavid in the game. Minnesota vs. Colorado would be another good one.

Last year the Stadium Series games were in Minnesota and Denver. Denver University and Colorado College played a week before the game in Denver (at Coors Field). I went to that game, and the crowd was pretty big, but the use of that baseball stadium with its huge outfield as a venue made everything seem very remote. Some of the energy that is typical for a DU-CC matchup was lost in the lack of proximity to the ice. Based on that experience, I was glad that I hadn't bought tickets to the NHL game (Colorado-Detroit) the following week, even though I had an opportunity to buy them. Line of sight was awful, and at least at Coors field the video board didn't really help to show the action. It makes a great TV experience, but actually seeing the game in person isn't all that great. The game becomes interesting when the weather conditions intervene, but for spectators that isn't much fun. It's a novelty, but if it is done too many times, it is no longer a novelty. - That's like interleague play in baseball. When the Cubs and White Sox played for the first time - it was a big deal because it hadn't happened before. Now it happens every year - big deal. It really is a case of too much of a good thing. It loses its "specialness"

NU Pastime
01-17-2017, 01:51 PM
Growing up in Southern Illinois ten minutes from downtown St. Louis, seeing the Blues host the Winter Classic was easily one of the best sports fan moments of my life. It ranks up there with seeing the Cardinals win 4 pennants and 2 World Series and Illinois' 2005 Final Four run. And from what my friends and family members who attended say, and from what I've read in the local media, it truly was a monumental spectacle for a long-suffering fan base. I don't really give a **** what the ratings were or what hockey fans in New England or Buffalo think about it, it was a huge event for the City of St. Louis.

Yes, the Stadium Series needs to go. The Winter Classic should be the only outside game played. But the NHL runs into a problem when on one side you have hockey fans from up North who only want to see it played in a blizzard, and then hockey fans from the rest of the country who get tired of seeing the Blackhawks, Bruins, and Penguins every year. And I think the latter hurts in more ways than one. For example, this year there was a lot of talk leading up to the Classic about the Blackhawks being tired of playing in outdoor games. Well, if there was ever a Classic they should've been in then this was the one (other than Wrigley, obviously). Blues-Blackhawks is the best rivalry in the NHL right now, but for some reason the NHL selected the Blackhawks to play against the Capitals in Washington a couple years back and against Minnesota last year in the Stadium Series. At least the Wild are a divisional rival, but for Blackhawks fans it took a little something away from playing their biggest rival in St. Louis because they've played in so many already.

PrezdeJohnson09
01-17-2017, 03:23 PM
Growing up in Southern Illinois ten minutes from downtown St. Louis, seeing the Blues host the Winter Classic was easily one of the best sports fan moments of my life. It ranks up there with seeing the Cardinals win 4 pennants and 2 World Series and Illinois' 2005 Final Four run. And from what my friends and family members who attended say, and from what I've read in the local media, it truly was a monumental spectacle for a long-suffering fan base. I don't really give a **** what the ratings were or what hockey fans in New England or Buffalo think about it, it was a huge event for the City of St. Louis.

Yes, the Stadium Series needs to go. The Winter Classic should be the only outside game played. But the NHL runs into a problem when on one side you have hockey fans from up North who only want to see it played in a blizzard, and then hockey fans from the rest of the country who get tired of seeing the Blackhawks, Bruins, and Penguins every year. And I think the latter hurts in more ways than one. For example, this year there was a lot of talk leading up to the Classic about the Blackhawks being tired of playing in outdoor games. Well, if there was ever a Classic they should've been in then this was the one (other than Wrigley, obviously). Blues-Blackhawks is the best rivalry in the NHL right now, but for some reason the NHL selected the Blackhawks to play against the Capitals in Washington a couple years back and against Minnesota last year in the Stadium Series. At least the Wild are a divisional rival, but for Blackhawks fans it took a little something away from playing their biggest rival in St. Louis because they've played in so many already.

Great thoughts in the second paragraph on exactly why they are too many. How many outdoor games have the Blackhawks been in already? 2 or 3 Winter Classics and then 2 or 3 more Stadium Series games? That's craziness.

PuckVoice
01-17-2017, 11:18 PM
Yes the Stadium Series has worn thin and the novelty of Frozen Fenway has faded ... but I would still love to see Norwich host Plattsburgh or Castleton or Middlebury on Sabine Field. Now THAT would be cool!

CARDS_rule_the_Burgh
01-18-2017, 07:55 AM
Yes the Stadium Series has worn thin and the novelty of Frozen Fenway has faded ... but I would still love to see Norwich host Plattsburgh or Castleton or Middlebury on Sabine Field. Now THAT would be cool!

Now that's an idea I can get behind! Make it a Men's/Women's doubleheader? Derek, make this happen!

PrezdeJohnson09
01-18-2017, 08:39 AM
Now that's an idea I can get behind! Make it a Men's/Women's doubleheader? Derek, make this happen!


Yes the Stadium Series has worn thin and the novelty of Frozen Fenway has faded ... but I would still love to see Norwich host Plattsburgh or Castleton or Middlebury on Sabine Field. Now THAT would be cool!

There was talk of trying to get local Vermont/NY colleges to play an outdoor series at the Champlain Valley fairgrounds recently but it fell through.

Tried to get UVM, Saint Michael's, Middlebury, Norwich and Plattsburgh all involved.

An outdoor rink on Sabine would be pretty cool, they used to do it "back in the day." That's where Norwich hockey first started. Perhaps it's something that can be looked into for the Bicentennial year in 2019. It's going to be a massive $$$ undertaking though.

CARDS_rule_the_Burgh
01-18-2017, 11:28 AM
There was talk of trying to get local Vermont/NY colleges to play an outdoor series at the Champlain Valley fairgrounds recently but it fell through.

Tried to get UVM, Saint Michael's, Middlebury, Norwich and Plattsburgh all involved.

An outdoor rink on Sabine would be pretty cool, they used to do it "back in the day". That's where Norwich hockey first started. Perhaps it's something that can be looked into for the Bicentennial year in 2019. It's going to be a massive $$$ undertaking though.
Set up the GoFundMe page now, see how much gets donated between now and 2019/2020 :p

NU Pastime
01-18-2017, 11:28 AM
Yes the Stadium Series has worn thin and the novelty of Frozen Fenway has faded ... but I would still love to see Norwich host Plattsburgh or Castleton or Middlebury on Sabine Field. Now THAT would be cool!

Now there's an awesome idea. As Prez says, it'll be really expensive. But if there's one thing Norwich is good at it's fundraising.

Only problem is I doubt the development office would be too high on another big fundraising campaign on top of the Forging the Future campaign and the usual athletic fundraising. Of course, they already have $76 million of their $100 million goal, so maybe alumni weekend 2017 will push them past $100 and free up some money for other projects. Like an outdoor hockey game or an outfield fence on the baseball field...

Irishdave
01-18-2017, 11:53 AM
They already played at Dodger Stadium. 70 degrees.

And wasn't it delayed for soft ice?