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It's official

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The NHL held a press conference at Ralph Wilson Stadium to announce the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins will play in an outdoor game at Ralph Wilson Stadium.  This is not really news to anyone because we have speculated about it for months.  It is the big news of the day and many people are giving their take.  There are people who think it's a good idea and others who feel it's a bad idea.  The Buffalo Sabres website and have a couple of cool links to check out.  The have a link with pictures from the press conference, one is a rendition of what the rink layout will be and another telling about the history of outdoor games.

If you are in need of tickets you'll want to check out this link.  The league is waisting no time because tickets will go on sale tomorrow.  Start counting your pennies Sabres fans because tickets are not cheap and they will sell out.

The Ultimate Sports Road Trip has an extensive post on the details of the press conference and the details on tickets.  If you are looking for a negative point of view on the game check out this story from David Shoalts from the Globe and Mail.

But no, you guys have to play one of these games every year and enough people buy tickets and enough of my loopy media colleagues churn out the worst baseball spring-training prose to describe it ("Where ephemeral meets catharsis," in the words of the great Dan Jenkins) to convince you to continue this madness.

Cripes, why not be honest and just tell the fans, since 80,000 of you numbskulls will pay to see this we’d be nuts to stop doing it.

Thankfully, I will dodge this assignment. The Leafs are sensibly playing indoors that night.

Let's be honest, this is the most narrow minded point of view ever.  The fact is the game is good for hockey in the United States because it draws attention to the game.  In Toronto the game is already popular and it will not change whether they play an outdoor game or not.  This game is is being played in the US on National TV and on a holiday.  The NHL does a lot of things wrong but they got this one right.  This game is about more than selling tickets (although that helps), it is about increasing exposure to the game in the US.  Like it or not the future of the league rests on how well they can market the game in the United States and not Canada.