SportsProf

(Hopefully) good sports essays and observations for good sports by a guy who tries (and can sometimes fail) to be a good sport.

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Friday, January 03, 2014

Idea for Princeton Ice Hockey -- Host Your Own Winter Classic

That the NHL drew so well in Ann Arbor the other day got me to thinking.

My son and I went to the winter classic in Philadelphia a few years back.  It wasn't horribly cold -- it got progressively colder as the sun started to set.  Earlier in the week, it was unseasonably warm, worrying the league and the locals that the ice might be soft.  Instead, it was cold enough, and it actually started to snow for a short while during the game.  The baseball stadium sold old, and, while it was hard to watch all the action, it was still a lot of fun to be there.

Well. . . Princeton has a nice football stadium with good sight lines.  It holds 25,000 people, say about 20x roughly what Baker Rink holds.  The Tigers' athletic department is creative, and Princeton has enough of an endowment that it could shave enough bucks to stage the event and perhaps donate some of the proceeds to charity.  Students, who are so busy and involved in their own lives that they probably have trouble watching most other kids' extracurricular activities, will go in droves because, well, it's an event, it's big-time, and, yes, they'll cover it on ESPN42 or whatever channel will have it.  Alums will go because, well, they have bucket lists and the chance to wear orange and black in public in the winter to keep warm will not go unmet.  Locals will go because, well, it's an event.  And the whole thing could snowball.

It's a natural, and, yes, you could fit more into Harvard Stadium or the Yale Bowl, but whoever stages it could have a great, annual event.

Food for thought on a very cold night in the Northeast.

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