Despite both teams' desire to win the two points, the National Hockey League's Winter Classic has elevated itself to an almost Super Bowl like platform, with no losers, and everybody in the game in on the win.
It is just too bad that the highlight of the season has to take place smack dab in the middle of it.
According a poll conducted by Harris Interactive, the National Football League is the most popular sport in America. Where does hockey sit? Hey folks, we're #6.
The success of the Winter Classic could be followed up with something that combines the Super Bowl and NCAA Final Four.
The NHL could bring the entire hockey community into the event by getting the United States Hockey League able to participate in the Memorial Cup, the North American Hockey League into the Royal Bank Cup, and having the Final for both events happen just in advance of the a Stanley Cup Series opening game. Heck, why not include the ECHL and American Hockey League while we are at it.
Four Cups won during the day as the appetizer for the opening of the Stanley Cup main event in the evening.
Imagine, 80,000 fans packed into Detroit's Ford Field for the Stanley Cup. 55,000+ at BC Place in Vancouver or even 110,000 at the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas. The NHL could start at $250 for the cheapest tickets and go up from there. I'd have to believe that the revenue streams that the league has for the current Stanley Cup format could quickly turn into an ocean with ice hockey's super event.
The game needs a serious kick in the a- - and an event like this could help raise the sport from #6, to somewhere north of the National Basketball Association.
Author: Stephen Heisler
Stephen Heisler has spent a lifetime in the game of hockey. Stephen is also working with individual teams, coaches, and players as a director with Victorious Hockey Company. Stephen, his wife Deysi, and four children reside in Orlando, Florida.
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