The Seattle Kraken haven’t even played a game at their home rink yet, but there may be plans forming for them to host a different kind of event. Chris Daniels of KING 5 reports that Gary Bettman said today Seattle is “on the radar” for an outdoor game. Bettman was speaking at the Climate Pledge Arena opening event, where the Kraken will host the Vancouver Canucks tomorrow night for the first home game in franchise history.
The Vegas Golden Knights, the most recent expansion team prior to the Kraken, had to wait a few years before gracing the outdoor circuit. They battled the Colorado Avalanche at the first “NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe” earlier this year, an event that didn’t go very smoothly once the sun came out and started making playing conditions dangerous.
Still, the overall neutral location idea was well received and there are likely more games like that in the works for the future. This year, the schedule currently has three outdoor games confirmed. January 1 in Minneapolis, when the Wild will host the Blues at the Winter Classic, February 26 in Nashville where the Predators will host the Lightning in the Stadium Series, and March 13 in Hamilton when the Sabres will “host” the Maple Leafs in the Heritage Classic.
While the shine of an outdoor game may have dulled for some fans, players, coaches and team staff routinely marvel at the experience and speak about how unforgettable it is. The events have also been successful financial hits for the league, both in-person and via broadcast. While Seattle is just getting their feet wet in the NHL, you can bet they’ll be on the outdoor lineup before long.