Outdoor hockey is coming to the Bay Area next season. According to Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area, the San Jose Sharks are expected to host a game outdoors in 2015.
With the NHL expanding the number of outdoor games it has in a season, the Bay Area will get its first taste. However, it seems that everything is in preliminary stages, as neither the venue nor the opponent has been determined.
The choices for the venue, according to Kurz, have been narrowed down to Levis Stadium in Santa Clara and AT&T Park in San Francisco. The former is expected to open this year as the new home of the 49ers, while the latter is the current home of the Giants.
The popular consensus is that AT&T Park would be the better choice, and I’d agree. It is one of the more beautiful outdoor stadiums in the country, with the San Francisco Bay right beyond the outfield. Additionally, the baseball season would presumably be over by the time of the expected outdoor game, making it easy to accommodate the Sharks. If the game were to be held at Levis, it could coincide with the 49ers’ season.
There have been persistent rumors about the Sharks hosting an outdoor game next season. The Ducks and Kings squared off outdoors in Los Angeles on Jan. 25 in mild conditions, and everything went pretty well, allowing the Sharks to lobby for another West Coast game next year.