The Red Wings have entered into talks with the NHL regarding playing a game outdoors at Comerica Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers.
“Nothing is imminent,” Jim Devellano, senior vice president of both the Red Wings and the Tigers, said Thursday. Devellano said he had researched the possibility of hosting an outdoor event along with NHL vice president and chief operating officer Jon Litner.
He also said there would not be an outdoor game in Detroit next season. The game would not likely be scheduled for the following season, either, as a work stoppage is expected when the collective bargaining agreement expires in September 2004.
The game “would be something far into the future,” Devellano said.
Outdoor games have been discussed all over the hockey world since Michigan State University hosted the University of Michigan in a game at Spartan Stadium on October 6, 2001. That game set a world record for attendance at a hockey game by drawing 74,554 fans.
The NHL’s first-ever outdoor game will be played in Edmonton on November 22. The Oilers will host the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium with the hopes of drawing more than 55,000 fans. The matchup should set the record for attendance at an NHL game.
The Red Wings will not move forward if they cannot assure the quality of the game. “I wouldn’t want to do something that would embarrass our players, our team and our league,” Devellano said.
Comerica Park seats 40,120 for Tigers baseball games.