“So the lack of upcoming outdoor game in Denver is baffling, but it’s also typical. The NHL has the awareness of a texting teen walking into traffic.”
Remember the outdoor game the Avs played at Coors Field? I sure do. It was a good time and seemed like a runaway success based on how well it was received. The Monforts, never shy when it comes to making a buck, probably felt it was a success too. Any time they can fill some seats, sell some beer in a month that isn’t between April and September, they will run, not walk, to do so.
So why hasn’t there been another outdoor NHL game at Coors field?
The last one was held in early 2016 and as we find ourselves in early 2018, no game has been announced for Coors in the near future. Odd, but not surprising how utterly clueless the NHL can be.
As a televised event, the outdoor game is decent, especially if it starts snowing and the conditions are nasty. The recent USA v Canada World Juniors match in Buffalo was proof of that. But really it’s just another game with the added fanfare of being outside. You kind of have to be there.
And if you are lucky enough to be there, that’s where it really shines. I went to the Avs/Detroit game at Coors and it was amazing. It didn’t hurt that it was 60 degrees that day in February, but seeing Coors Field in an entirely different way was special and certainly hooked me in for future games. That is if they are going to have another one.
So the lack of upcoming outdoor game in Denver is baffling, but it’s also typical. The NHL has the awareness of a texting teen walking into traffic.
Marketing its game or its players has never been the strong suit of the NHL.This is the league that inexplicably won’t schedule games for days at a time, then has them parked all the way out on NBC Sports and relegates the rest of its games to local outlets or paid services like Center Ice.
The NBA is on in what seems like a endless loop: ESPN, TNT, NBC, NBA Network etc. It’s right in front of your face and you can’t watch anything sports related without seeing its players selling shoes or being used to promote the sport. But I’ll turn on the TV on a random night thinking it would be great to catch a hockey game and it’s never on. I can watch the Lakers play the Bulls on a channel everyone has. But to watch those city’s NHL counterparts, I’d have to purchase an expensive add-on to my already exorbitant cable bill. That is if they were even playing that night.
Coupled with the fact that NHL officiating is making the other sports’ refs look competent, you’ve got a recipe for success in making your sport vanish from the American market. And that’s what they’ve been doing lately. The new slashing rules, the wacky face off regulations and “who knows” attitude toward what is an offside play have made the NHL a laughingstock of professional sports. A hard feat to accomplish when compared to the NFL which employs a blind monkey to decide what a catch is. Accidentally clearing the puck over the glass? Oh yeah, baby. Losing a challenge that a goal was offside that results in a penalty? Uh huh, give it to me. Let’s slow the game down even more with some stupid rules everyone hates. And the way the NHL hands out punishment for dangerous hits is so baffling, I think I could learn how to use Snapchat quicker than sifting through this contradictory clusterfuck.
So it’s no surprise that the NHL isn’t able to see the success that the outdoor game was at Coors Field and rush a wheelbarrow full of money up to the Monforts and schedule another.
Maybe they’ll announce another here soon, but I doubt it because we would have heard something by now. The glacial pace at which the NHL moves is staggering. We all know these things don’t happen overnight, but having an outdoor game in Denver every two years would be a huge success each time. Hockey is truly one of the world’s greatest sports, but it seems that the people running the world’s top league are too clueless to even get it close to the level of its compatriots in the other sports.
But I’ll be waiting right here for the NHL to take my money for another outdoor game at Coors Field. I just won’t be holding my breath. Because I’ll pass out and die.