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If Bruins want to host another outdoor game, forget Fenway and Gillette

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  January 29, 2014 10:32 AM

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If you attended the Winter Classic between the Bruins and Flyers at Fenway Park back in 2010, odds are that you probably sat somewhere that allowed a perspective of the ice better suited for a hovering blimp. Maybe Frozen Fenway works on a collegiate level, but for the NHL, it was almost universally seen as an expensive nuisance.

So, if the Bruins do indeed host another stadium game next season, odds are that it wonít be in the confines.

Dregerís tweet led some to speculate that the Bruins and Canadiens could meet at Gillette Stadium next season, a site that would provide dramatically better views than Fenway would allow. Gilletteís capacity of 68,756 would better satisfy ticket demand than the Fenway Winter Classic, if not exactly provide the intimate outdoor atmosphere that the NHL should be shooting for with these novelties.

Then why not Harvard Stadium?

With a capacity of 30,323, the historic arena would hold almost as many as Fenway, and provide superior sight lines of the playing surface. Ice hockey has also been played there as early as 1904, and an outdoor game there in 2015 would deliver the marriage of yesteryear that the pond hockey throwback affairs are supposed to deliver. I mean, Dodger Stadium?

Of course, there would be this issue to deal with:

The Harvard bubble covers the playing surface from November until spring for winter workouts and spring sports practices. But according to the Harvard athletics web site, ďThe bubble takes approximately four hours to inflate once itís anchored to the Stadium infrastructure.Ē

Thatís not exactly a deal-breaker, nor is the cash the university would receive from the NHL should a game be played there.

Seems ideal, which means itís probably unlikely.


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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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