A frequent mantra throughout sports over the past year or so has been some form of lamentation about the lack of crowds in stadiums as leagues throughout the country continued and started their seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. This included the NHL, which played in two fan-less bubbles in Canada over the summer to determine a Stanley Cup champion.
In an effort to try and combat this issue, certain teams are reportedly looking into having home games in outdoor venues so that fans can congregate at limited capacity a bit more safely than in an indoor arena. These teams include the Boston Bruins, Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins, according to a report from SportsNet.
As Elliotte Friedman reports, the Kings and Ducks are considering LA Galaxy's park, Dignity Health Sports Park, the Bruins are considering Fenway Park and the Penguins are looking into Heinz Field and PNC Park.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic added the Carolina Hurricanes, Dallas Stars, Nashville Predators and Florida Panthers into the mix of teams looking at outdoor venues. Carolina has NC State's football field, Carter-Finley Stadium, across the street, Dallas is considering AT&T Stadium, and Nashville and Florida have each expressed interested in an outdoor home schedule, but no specifics have been revealed.
The NHL has had success with outdoor hockey with the annual Winter Classic and other outdoor games, though when those games are played, they're billed as particularly unique events. Having regular season hockey take place outdoors would be a rather difficult undertaking, even if there is precedent for how to hold individual games outside.