The Colorado Avalanche look like they will host the Vegas Golden Knights in Lake Tahoe for a unique hockey experience.
The Colorado Avalanche look to have the chance at a unique experience. They appear to be tagged to play an outdoor game this season.
Naturally, the 2021 season is going to be a strange one. First of all, it’s only a 2021 season because all games will be played in that calendar year. What’s more, teams will only play 56 games total. And they’ll face the same seven teams over and over.
Additionally, fan engagement is going to be somewhat limited. Many arenas, including Ball Arena in Denver, will not be letting fans in due to the pandemic. Those arenas that do admit fans will do so at limited capacity.
So, the NHL is attempting to generate interest in different ways. One of those ways is with a new style of outdoor game. Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet reported that four teams will head to Lake Tahoe in February:
As you can see, Colorado is one of those teams. The proposed game is theirs against the Vegas Golden Knights on February 20. It was to be a home game at Ball Arena.
That game would be the first of a two-game hockey weekend at Lake Tahoe at the Edgewood Tahoe Resort. The Philadelphia Flyers are facing the Boston Bruins in the second of what Friedman calls a “Mystery, Alaska experiment.” According to Friedman, the NHL aims to call it an Outdoor Weekend Showcase.
Fans likely won’t be able to attend the event. Apparently the total number of people allowed are 400, which is mostly the two traveling teams, their entourages, and the resort workers. I’m guessing a few VIPs will be able to make their way to the outdoor rink, though.
The Colorado Avalanche have three days free before the Vegas game, though they would play Vegas again in Colorado that Monday. The locale is barely farther away than Vegas itself, though, so travel should be little of a hardship.
The NHL is actually considering the proposed Outdoor Weekend Showcase as a potential for future seasons as well. They seem keen on the picturesque nature of such locations.
That seems like a good aim to me. The outdoor games have been getting stale the last few years. Unless your team is one of the ones competing, most fans have found the novelty to have worn off. These beautiful locales have the potential to generate new interest.