Can Calgary Host Another Outdoor Game?


Panoramic shot of McMahon Stadium in Calgary prior to the 2011 Heritage Classic. (Photo via Wikipedia)

With word of the Minnesota Wild being a potential 2015 Winter Classic host it seems that enough is enough and these outdoor games are becoming too common and not as special. Every season, there should be just two outdoor games. One in the United States between two American teams and one in Canada featuring two Canadian teams. Will the NHL end up playing more games outdoor than indoor in a few years? It’s getting ridiculous. The ultimate questions are: can Calgary host another Winter/Heritage Classic, and where could it be played?

The Flames hosted the Montreal Canadiens back in February of 2011 at McMahon Stadium as over 40,000 witnessed the Flames shutout the Habs 4-0. It was a great atmosphere and there were no problems with the ice as the temperature was well below 0 degrees while in the United States, specifically Pittsburgh, it rained during the 2011 Winter Classic between the Penguins and Capitals. Nothing like ice hockey in the rain!

Unfortunately, an outdoor game will most likely not come to Calgary until Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal get a taste of outdoor hockey. With that being said, the city of Calgary will have to wait until the year 2019 or even 2020 to be considered a host for the special game. Six years, wow. It’d be so interesting to know what the Flames’ roster will look like over half a decade down the road.

People often associate outdoor NHL games with McMahon Stadium. But that’s not the only location that could hold an event as big as the Winter Classic. The Calgary Stampede would be a great place to host a game! Place about 25,000 in the main grandstand with makeshift seats behind the nets and on the opposite side of the skating surface. A set-up similar to this used in the 2010 AHL Mirabito Outdoor Classic.

And now pictures of the Calgary Stampede grandstand…

It would definitely be a special event but it wouldn’t surprise me if Gary Bettman came up to me and said, “Calgary will never again have an outdoor game.”

Do you think Calgary will host another outdoor game? Where would you like it to be played; McMahon or the Stampede? Voice your opinion in the comments below and make sure to follow us on Twitter @Flame_4_Thought.