Flyers To Officially Pitch Beaver Stadium Game vs. Penguins To NHL
In January 2017, the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins franchises, we might just have the chance to see the two teams face off at Beaver Stadium. While the game has been rumored for a long, long time, the first steps toward making it a reality were taken this past week.
According to Broad Street Hockey, Shawn Tilger, the Flyers’ Chief Operating Officer of Business Operations, announced at a Flyers Town Hall Meeting that he’d be pitching the idea of an outdoor game at Beaver Stadium featuring the two Pennsylvania teams. At the Town Hall were members of the team’s front office as well as season ticket holders.
The outdoor game at Penn State has mostly been nothing but speculation until this point. The university has expressed interest in hosting the game, but musings have been reported that the game would be inconvenient due to possible field damage and a shortage of parking and hotels. The NHL hasn’t leaned either way, but you don’t have to think too hard to figure out that this would be a jackpot for the league. Now, with the Flyers officially planning to present the idea to the NHL, the first real steps are being taken to make the spectacle a reality.
We’ve imagined what the Winter Classic would look like already, but this pitch doesn’t guarantee the game will be played. The NHL has expanded its outdoor schedule to include the Stadium Series and the Heritage Classic, and the teams could find themselves playing in the former on NBC. Still, if revenue is what’s most important to the parties involved, it’d be hard to say no to a primetime matchup between two of the fiercest rivals in the league, not to mention in one the nation’s biggest stadiums with two of professional sports’ most passionate fanbases.
Last year, we noted that obtaining liquor licenses is another hurdle in the process. When Michigan hosted the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, it was able to obtain a one-day contract through the NHL’s beer sponsors. If the NHL and the University can work out issues like those, setting up the game is a no-brainer.
From the fans’ perspective, there’s no doubt that this would be an incredible experience for the teams and for Penn State University. We’re just one Casey Bailey trade away from making it perfect.