Sharks expected to get outdoor game next season
CSN Bay Area – The San Jose Sharks are expected to host an outdoor game in the Bay Area next season, multiple sources have told CSNBayArea.com.
The venue has not been decided, but will either be AT&T Park in San Francisco, home of baseball’s Giants, or Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where the NFL’s 49ers will begin play for the 2014 season. Stanford Stadium in Palo Alto is no longer thought to be among the options. The Sharks’ opponent for the game is also yet to be determined.
AT&T Park would probably be the better option for both the league and the Sharks. Known as one of the most picturesque stadiums in the country, sitting on the edge of the San Francisco Bay and what’s known as McCovey Cove, it would provide breathtaking visuals for a national broadcast much like NHL games at Wrigley Field and Fenway Park in the past. It could help the Sharks to grow the game locally in the San Francisco area, and be easier to fill to capacity, as AT&T Park holds 41,503 fans as compared to the 68,500 seats at Levi’s Stadium.
Earlier this year, Giants team president Larry Baer told the San Jose Mercury News that it had “preliminary discussions” with the Sharks about bringing a game to AT&T Park.
“Our ballpark would be perfect,” Baer said. “A lot has to happen with the NHL and how these things get planned, but we’d love to do it. We think it would be a great partnership. We have a fair amount in common (with the Sharks) in the way we approach presenting our games. I think it would be an easy marriage and great for the fans.”
Well if they can have a game in at Dodger stadium, they sure as hell could have one in San Francisco. I know already that the game, if it took place at Levi’s, would for sure not sell out, despite all the Sharks fan in San Jose because at the end of the day, nobody wants to drive and park in Santa Clara. In fact, it’s going to be interesting to see those bleachers come this fall, but I digress. Hell, maybe even Kanye proposing to Kim Kardashian there could put it over the top for the NHL, “See we’ve already had the circus here, how about a hockey game?”
As far as an opponent, it’d have to be the Kings. A Norcal/Socal rivalry would draw out the fans and it certainly helps the way the playoffs have gone down the past two months. Only way I can’t see it going that way is if the NHL sandbags us with the Canucks or the Coyotes (woof).
The prospect of having it at AT&T park is pretty exciting when you consider that it will probably be pretty cold (by California standards) and without question a good degree of wind. Sure a puck’s heavy but It would great to see it being a factor that players aren’t used to, much like the snow covering the ice in the games at Yankee Stadium this year. All I really wanna see besides this game is someone to try and hit a knuckle puck, because with the wind, this thing could go from 12 to 6 to 3 to 9 in one shot.