Issues cloud possible Flyers game at Penn State

Issues cloud possible Flyers game at Penn State

June 6, 2013, 9:15 am
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Flyers president Peter Luukko confirmed a report on WJAC-TV in Johnstown, Pa., that Penn State in considering an outdoor hockey game.
 
Luukko said he would like to see the Flyers and Penguins in it.
 
There are, however, three issues that complicate matters, including when the game could be played, involving both the league and the University, as well as NBC.
 
The NHL has scheduled six outdoor games for next season with advance hoopla, making it uncertain whether they would add another at this point.
 
The Winter Classic starts the cycle in January and then five more games follow.
 
Would 2014-15 be more realistic at this point?
 
“Not sure,” Luukko told CSNPhilly.com late Wednesday.
 
University officials told the television station they would like either a Big Ten or NHL game at Beaver Stadium, but there are two problems on their end: one is parking, and the other is that the game would have to be played in December - not January.
 
Joe Battista of PSU hockey operations told WJAC that the university always “winterizes” Beaver Stadium in January before snows hit State College.

Luukko, however, told CSNPhilly.com he believes the University could push back the winterization of the stadium until after January, if necessary.
 
A third and more delicate issue is an NHL outdoor game in December would preempt NBC’s showcase event, the Winter Classic, making it highly unlikely the league would permit that unless that game itself was designated the Winter Classic, which has traditionally taken place on New Year's Day.

Asked by CSNPhilly whether the league would make an exception to allowing Penn State to preempt the Winter Classic, NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told us, "Would be unlikely, but I wouldn't absolutely rule it out."
 
Toronto will play Detroit on Jan. 1, 2014, at Michigan Stadium in the coming Winter Classic.
 
The Flyers hosted the Rangers in the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park and were guests in Boston’s Fenway Park in 2010 against the Bruins.
 
Penn State football coach Bill O’Brien said he likes the idea of an outdoor game. The university could use additional money right now when its football program is under severe NCAA sanctions.
 
Beaver Stadium holds more than 106,000.