NHL Winter Classic: Has It Helped Expand the League’s Fanbase?

December 16th, 2009 by Ryan Pickard Leave a reply »
As most people know, the NHL hasn't been the same since the lockout cancelled the 2004-2005 season.

Before the lockout happened hockey was a pretty popular sport, but popularity was declining. When the lockout actually happened it pushed popularity down even more and it hasn't been the same.

Popularity continues to decline since the league doesn't have a very good television contract.

They have two different carriers right now. Versus carries NHL games usually on Monday and Tuesday—but many people don't get Versus since it is not a cable channel. NBC also covers hockey games but they only cover games on Sundays and not until after New Year's Day.

This is where the Winter Classic comes in.

If there was ever something that could help expand popularity it would be a game played outdoors. The Winter Classic will be played for the third time this year at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.

The first game was played between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. It was played on January 1, 2008 and set a record for attendance to an NH ...

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