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Old 06-27-2006, 06:21 PM   #1
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Rangers vs. Isles at Yankee Stadium?
Newsday Staff Writer

A Rangers-Islanders game at frosty Yankee Stadium on New Year's Day?

There's a chance it could happen.

Preliminary discussions between NHL and Yankee executives, the two NHL teams, city officials and NBC---which would televise the proposed Jan. 1 regular-season contest between the arch-rivals---took place last week, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. "Everybody likes the idea," said one person. "But there are some obstacles. The question is whether the stadium will be usable at that time of year for that purpose."

The NHL staged the first outdoor game in its history on Nov. 22, 2003 at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium, home of the Edmonton Eskimos football team, and wants to recapture that buzz with an outdoor game in the U.S. between U.S.-based teams. More than 56,000 fans bundled up in a near-zero-degree weather---doubling the record for the largest crowd to even watch an NHL game---and saw the Montreal Canadiens edge the Edmonton Oilers 4-3.

"A request has been made to use the stadium for an NHL game in the 2006-2007 season, " Yankees spokesman Rick Cerrone confirned last night. "The matter is under discussion."

Yankee Stadium, which was built in 1923 and renovated in the mid-1970s, has hosted summer events for decades, but nothing in the winter since the NFL's New York Giants left in 1973. Yankees officials are examining whether the aging infrastructure---water pipes, for example---could handle the low temperatures and the logistics and feasibilty of constructing an NHL-quality rink without damaging the infield. The stadium has been used almost exclusively for baseball since 2001, but Billy Joel performed in August 1990 and U2 took the stage there in August 1992.

With next season's schedule due to be released in mid-July, league sources said that it is very unlikely there will be an outdoor game at any venue this season. "But schedules can always be changed," said one team executive. If the obstacles are overcome in the Bronx or at another venue, the contest would be the NHL's first outdoor game on U.S. soil.

On June 20, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that the league was indeed exploring the possibility of another outdoor game. NBC, which televised a slate of regular-season and Stanley Cup playoff games during the first season of its contract with the league, hopes to carry one outdoor game with high-profile match-ups a year. The Edmonton game was not televised in the U.S. NHL spokeswoman Bernadette Mansur and NBC Sports spokesman Brian Walker declined comment Tuesday.

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Old 06-27-2006, 09:42 PM   #2
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I remember watching that Oilers-Canadiens game on tv. Everyone there looked like they were having a grand old time getting frostbite!

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Old 06-27-2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Outdoor hockey is fantastic. There is nothing like it.
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