Exclusive: Sharks could host outdoor game in 2014-15

Exclusive: Sharks could host outdoor game in 2014-15
September 20, 2013, 5:45 pm
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The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on January 2, 2012. (AP)

SAN JOSE – An outdoor NHL game could be coming to the Bay Area.

According to chief operating officer John Tortora, the Sharks "would be in the running" to host an outdoor game at some point during the 2014-15 season if the league holds multiple outdoor games, which is expected. The NHL is staging six such games this season, starting with the annual Winter Classic on Jan. 1, when the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs battle at Michigan Stadium.

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Other games include a Jan. 25 matchup between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium as part of the league’s “Stadium Series.” The potential outdoor game in the Bay Area would not be the Winter Classic.

According to Tortora, the NHL will wait and see how an outdoor game goes in the warm weather L.A. location before determining if a game in the Bay Area is viable. Other outdoor games this season will take place in the much colder climates of Vancouver, New York and Chicago.

The Sharks would be “seriously considered to host one of the Stadium Series games,” according to Tortora, if all goes well at Dodger Stadium. According to one report, the NHL is already planning on holding multiple outdoor games next season.

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Tortora would only say the location for a potential Bay Area game is to be determined, but the obvious and best choice would probably be AT&T Park, where the San Francisco Giants call home at one of the most picturesque stadiums in baseball. Closer options to San Jose include the 49ers’ new home in Santa Clara, Levi’s Stadium, which is due to open in time for the 2014 NFL season, or Stanford Stadium near Palo Alto.

According to several reports, the 2015 Winter Classic will take place in Washington, D.C.