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Vancouver Province article (WHL keen to play outdoor game again)

February 22 2011 at 7:00 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)


WHL keen to play outdoor game again

By John Down, Postmedia News

February 22, 2011

There's little wonder the Western Hockey League would now like to stage at least one outdoor game per season following Monday's smashing success at McMahon Stadium

A Canadian Hockey League record crowd of 20,888 took in the first outdoor WHL game in Canada.

The Regina Pats scored a last-minute, 3-2 decision over the Calgary Hitmen.

"We've had a number of inquiries from other centres in the league," revealed WHL commissioner Ron Robison, "and we had a couple of teams here today observing. Certainly there's a lot of interest, but it's a major undertaking and not necessarily something we can do on an annual basis, but we're certainly going to be looking at it more in the future.

"I think we have room for at least one. We'd like to be part of the NHL Heritage Classic festivities moving forward. I think it's a great fit because we bring a regular season game to the equation and as a result I think we could be a real good partner in that respect."

Monday's junior game piggybacked onto the National Hockey League's Heritage Classic weekend, which featured a Calgary Flames 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Sunday in front of a sold-out crowd of 41,022.

"It gave us a wonderful opportunity to be a part of it, display our product and the teams put on a real good show," said Robison. "It couldn't have gone any better from out standpoint. It was ideal conditions for the players weather-wise and, of course, the largest crowd to ever watch a junior hockey game."

The first WHL outdoor game was staged in Spokane, Wash., last month in front of a crowd of 7,525 when the Chiefs played host to the Kootenay Ice.

© Copyright (c) The Province

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