Yankee Stadium, one of baseballs most legendary ballparks, has seen a litany of great players who were able to perform at the top of their game under the bright lights of the Bronx. There has been Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and now Jaromir Jagr?
Only months after the tremendous success of the New Year’s Day ‘Winter Classic’ between the Penguins and Sabres outdoors in Buffalo, the National Hockey League is discussing the possibility of staging a New York Rangers game on the hollowed grounds of the house that Ruth built. According to a report in New York Newsday, the possibility had been discussed in previous years and with the Yankees moving into their new stadium following the 2008 season, talks were revived.
The game would be the final event to take place at Yankee Stadium, and with nothing confirmed, there is still discussions about which teams that would be matched up. One possibility involves the New York Rangers facing the Boston Bruins next season in New York, with the teams matching up once again the following year at historic Fenway Park. Another possibility for the game is taking the rivalry between the Rangers and Islanders outdoors.
“We’ve been working with the Yankees for more than two years,” Islanders spokesperson Chris Botta told Newsday. “It’s a very important project to us. Rangers-Islanders at Yankee Stadium would be great for the league and hockey fans here.”
While the possibilities of another successful outdoor hockey game have brought excitement for the NHL and its fans, many people would just the same never see it happen. After all this is Yankee Stadium, home of the 26 time world champion and who many think should be the team that closes the stadium.
If an agreement is reached to play at the historic baseball stadium, it seems that it certainly won’t be the last hockey game played on top of a baseball diamond. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman told the Associated Press that a game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field “would make a lot of sense” and the Chicago Blackhawks are very interested.
“It would be so special,” Blackhawks President John McDonough told the AP. “It would be once-in-a-lifetime, unique, never-before-seen. The city would embrace it. I could only imagine how popular this would be.”
In January, it what seems could have been the first of a soon to be annual event, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 on a Sidney Crosby shoot out goal in front of more than 70,000 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.