The NHL announced Monday that the Los Angeles Kings will officially play host to the Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25, 2014, marking the first-ever regular-season outdoor hockey game in Southern California.
“This is a credit to our fans and the amazing support they have shown to us and the NHL these past few years,” said Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille. “This will be a sporting event like no other that has ever been seen in Southern California and we are proud to be apart of it.”
It is not, however, the first outdoor hockey game that the Kings have participated in. In 1991, the Kings and New York Rangers played an exhibition game in the parking lot at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. That game was famously remembered for the swarm of crickets that covered the ice in 85-degree weather. The league hasn’t scheduled an outdoor game in a warm-weather city since, but technology has grown, and the popularity of hockey in Southern California may currently be at an all-time high.
There are still some questions revolving around the ice conditions, considering the temperature reached a high of 67 degrees and a low of just 59 this past Jan. 25.
The Kings and Ducks have yet to meet on the big stage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but this event will likely be the next best thing for an ever-growing rivalry. The tradition, combined with 56,000 available seats at Dodger Stadim provides a perfect opportunity for the game to continue flourishing in Southern California.
Dodger Stadium, which opened its doors in 1962, is the third oldest active Major League Baseball Park. The venue has hosted eight World Series in its 51 years of existence.
“Dodger Stadium has been home to many unique and special moments over the past 51 years,” said Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten. “We’ll add another first in 2014 when the Dodger Stadium infield turns to ice as we host our first NHL game between the Kings and the Ducks.”
The Ducks won their first and only Stanley Cup in 2007, and the Kings matched that this past summer, becoming the first-ever No. 8 seed to win a championship.
The event will be part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will also include a matchup between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field on March 1, 2014.
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