Despite the fact that we still don't know when the new NHL season is going to start, we've heard rumblings about several teams looking into the possibility of playing some home games outdoors, due to COVID-19. The Boston Bruins are one of those teams and boy, would it be fun to see them play at Fenway or Gillette on a more regular basis.
The idea behind this is that fans won't be allowed in arenas at full capacity because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, so teams should try to take the action outdoors to allow for the possibility of larger crowds. So far, it seems that most scientists are claiming that COVID-19 is less of a factor when outside, so if local government officials deem it safe, maybe the outdoor games are the way to proceed.
Other organizations that are exploring this option include the Los Angeles Kings, the Anaheim Ducks, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators. Obviously, with a spring/summer season on the way there are a lot of roadblocks across the board here, most notably weather in places like Dallas and Los Angeles. Imagine maintaining an ice rink in LA come May or June. Soupy would be an understatement.
Do I think any of this is actually going to happen? No. I think the teams and the league will have to bite the bullet on gate revenue for most of, if not all of, the season. It's just as well too because as cool as this would be, it would take away some of the fun from the Winter Classic or the Stadium Series in the future. It also creates an uneven playing field (or rink) if only some of the teams decide to play in the elements.
As we move closer to February, we'll hopefully get more and more answers about not only this idea, but the layout of the season as a whole. The NHL needs to play and even though they did such a good job finishing out the 2019-2020 season, they are lagging behind other leagues when it comes to starting up again. Let's hope that changes.