You wanted an outdoor NHL regular season game in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area? You got one! The New Jersey Devils will take on Our Hated Rivals, the New York Rangers, at Yankee Stadium on January 26, 2014. It's not yet officially announced, but there have been several reports stating it. If Devils beat writer Tom Gulitti of Fire & Ice is reporting that there will be a game,then it's likely a safe bet barring some unforeseen circumstances.
The Devils aren't the only ones to play outside of an arena next season. As Sean Leahy reported at Puck Daddy, it's one of six outdoor games planned for the 2013-14 season. Yankee Stadium will be a two-game homestand for the Rangers as they'll play the Islanders three days later. I imagine this is so none of the local teams get shutout.
In a perfect world, I would have preferred MetLife Stadium as a location for this game but I'm more than fine with this decision. For starters, MetLife is hosting the Super Bowl so that's simply wasn't option in 2014. Yankee Stadium is a good second option. It's the host of the Pinstripe Bowl; I can't imagine a hockey game looking any stranger than that sight. Moreover, the outdoor games have been big in terms of attention and revenue. New York's second best team is likely going to garner more of both with a game in it's backyard; although Gulitti reports the Devils will officially be the home team in the game (heh). Since no one will be using Yankee Stadium in January and there will be plenty of visitors to the area since the Super Bowl is later that week at MetLife Stadium, so that's where it's at. I get it.
I'm just glad the Devils are actually involved in a large event such as this. With respect to outdoor games in general, it may ultimately be a novelty but I personally don't understand the watered down nature of it since so many teams haven't even been involved in one. This will be the first for the Devils. The Winter Classic is an annual event on national TV and other teams have expressed a lot of interest. Unless you're very patient, the only way to satisfy them is to have multiple games. I'm fine with that. Besides, I would be lying if I wasn't excited about going to Yankee Stadium to see the good guys hopefully smack the bad guys in the mouth in a competitive game of hockey that's on a bigger stage than most regular season games. My only real problem is that it's a Sunday date. Unless the game's in the afternoon, getting back could be a bit of a challenge. But it'll hopefully be worth it. Who knows whether we'll see the Devils in an outdoor game again.
What do you think? Are you waiting for the official announcement so you can get word on how to purchase tickets like I am? Or are you indifferent about the news? Maybe you don't like this news at all, and if so, why? Please leave your answers and other thoughts about the Devils taking on Our Hated Rivals at Yankee Stadium next January in the comments.