NHL to announce Sabres to host Penguins in outdoor game Jan. 1


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- Get ready for an NHL big chill on New Year's Day: Penguins at Sabres in an outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The league is set to announce next week that the Buffalo Sabres will host the Pittsburgh Penguins, a person familiar with the event told The Associated Press, in what would be the NHL's second outdoor game.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the NHL has not made the announcement official.
The NHL said Thursday it will "make a major announcement concerning a special event" at a news conference at the stadium Monday.
Several media outlets, including The Buffalo News, cited unidentified sources in reporting the planned outdoor game earlier this month.
The league's first outdoor game was at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 22, 2003, when 57,167 fans showed up to see the Canadiens beat the Oilers at 4-3.
Ralph Wilson Stadium is home to the Buffalo Bills and has a capacity of 73,967 seats for football games.
The game will cap a home-and-home series between the Eastern Conference rivals. Buffalo plays at Pittsburgh on Dec. 29.
Buffalo is considered an ideal location to host the game, and not only because of its reputation for cold, bitter winters. The Sabres' attendance has risen dramatically: last season's President's Trophy-winning team sold out all of its 41 regular-season games.
Buffalo also has the potential to draw many fans from the region, the city located just across the border from Ontario, and 90 minutes from Toronto. It's also an easy drive for Penguins fans, with Pittsburgh only a 3 1/2 drive south of Buffalo. Sabres players, reporting for the start of training camp Thursday, were informed by the team not to comment about the nature of the NHL announcement.



#1 Spammer of FC
Luckally this game is in Buffalo because almost anywhere else in the States (excluding Detorit , Philly and maybe Minnesota) would you see them come close to selling out a place that big for a game like this.

Im intrigued about this game however and what it will be like compared to the outdoor game a few years back. Personally I think it'll be hard to top.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
It will be almost impossible to match, I see this as a huge flop in my mind. Especially that's it's in the United States. Second off it's on New Years day, couldn't choose a better day then that? They had success with the Oilers and the Habs, because first two of those franchises are really popular second off it was in Canada. This is a dumb move from Bettman.


#1 Spammer of FC
I don't know about that just yet. Lets factor somethings in shall we:

-Buffalo has one of the highest attendance rates of any team in the US
-Buffalo is not to far of a drive from Canada and if you have an outdoor hockey game anywhere close to Canada your sure to get some support
-The TV contracts for this game will be huge
-Merchandise sales will also be rather high

I think it's a risk but I doubt it'll be a huge flop.


The return shall be legenday!
I know the Pens are probably the most exciting team in the NHL right now, and add Buffalo to the mix and it should be a real entertaining game. It should do pretty well because it involves those two teams, but the game is played in the United States where no one cares about Hockey. Andrew you brought up that Buffalo is near Toronto so you assume that there is going to be a lot of Canadians crossing the border and show up to the game. I disagree because there's no Canadian teams involved so why should we support the American teams?


#1 Spammer of FC
I wouldn't count on that. Everyone else in the US will be watching Bowl games, not hockey. Including myself, and I'm a Pens fan.
Well TSN will deffinatley cover it and CBC should as well so there are two big companies there and likely the NHL Network will have coverage so im sure we can find a couple contracts do there to make up some profits from it.


Registered Member
Well TSN will deffinatley cover it and CBC should as well so there are two big companies there and likely the NHL Network will have coverage so im sure we can find a couple contracts do there to make up some profits from it.
That's great, but fewer people in the US get TSN or CBC than get Versus, and there isn't a broadcast network here that will carry the game.

I'm sure the January 1 date won't hurt viewership in Canada, but if Bettman really wants to increase exposure in the US, he chose a pretty poor day to do this (surprise, surprise).

Detroit Fan

Bettman is probably the worst commish in Professional sports. But yet his league is the only major one not facing any issues. Baseball has steroids, basketball has gambling, and Football his Michael Vick. WEIRD

Bad decision by The Weasel(Bettman)


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Trust me the league has issues, it's just you don't hear about them because the league isn't popular in the states like the three other major sports.

Here's a few issues:

Gambling probe for Rick Tocchet
DUI for Bouwmeester
Prison time for Mark Bell
The Staal brothers getting arrested.

So you can't really say the NHL don't have any issues.