Pittsburgh Penguins, Washington Capitals: Play Winter Classic at Beaver Stadium
The Pittsburgh Tribune Review has reported the Pittsburgh Penguins are "a leading candidate" to host the annual Winter Classic game in 2011.
The game would be played at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers , and although PNC Park, home to the Pittsburgh Pirates , had inquired about hosting the event as well, officials ruled out the baseball park due to its limited seating capacity.
Sorry PNC Park, it's all about the revenue.
With around 65,000 seats, Heinz Field would undoubtedly be filled for a contest on New Year's Day, with the Washington Capitals believed to be the counterpart.
Play this game at Beaver Stadium.
Show the hockey world a premier event game at one of the largest stadium venues in the world.
Honestly, who wouldn't want to see 110,000 fans at a hockey game?
And for the Penguins to play in another Winter Classic (they opened the event in 2008 with Buffalo) designates the final time they will be selected for the event for quite a few years.
This is the NHL's chance to take a bold step forward and "go all out."
From downtown Pittsburgh, the drive is 115 miles to Beaver Stadium, and from Washington, D.C., 139 miles.
Who wouldn't tack on some extra miles to see such a premier contest? It wouldn't be wrong to assume 110,000 would.
Take for example the NBA All-Star game held at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 14, 2010.
The announced attendance?
That figure should provide the NHL enough evidence to create a similar situation and opportunity for its fans.
Unfortunately, it seems rather unlikely it would happen if Pittsburgh and Washington were to face off Jan. 1, 2011, but in the future the NHL would be blindsiding itself not to grant the opportunity for such a monumental event to take place.
For next year's Winter Classic, a game at Beaver Stadium is simply a dream waiting to be seen, and the NHL and its fans undoubtedly deserve it.
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