Could the Winter Classic be Coming to L.A.?

Los Angeles Dodgers President Stan Kasten is interested in the possibility of hosting the NHL Winter Classic.

Ed Millerby Ed Miller

It’s often said that there is no easier job than that of a meteorologist who works in Los Angeles.  The weather is practically the same throughout the year — sunny with just a little humidity — and it is for that reason that Los Angeles could be a tough sell in helping earn the city the NHL Winter Classic.

In just five years, the Winter Classic has become the NHL’s biggest regular season event, taking place on or around New Year’s Day – depending on what day it falls.  It has been held in Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia, while next season it will be held in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

But one man plans to explore the idea of bringing the Winter Classic to Los Angeles and that man is Dodgers President Stan Kasten.  Kasten, the former president of the NHL's Atlanta Thrashers, admitted that the thought of hosting the event at Dodger Stadium was intriguing, though he isn’t sure if the league would be interested.

"Facility-wise, we could certainly handle it," Kasten told the LA Times.

With today’s technology, it’s certainly possible to hold the event almost anywhere, but the NHL has yet to award the game to a warm-weather city.  In 1991, the Kings took part in an outdoor exhibition game against the New York Rangers in Las Vegas.  It was 85 degrees at the start of the contest and the ice held up fairly well, considering the circumstances.  It couldn’t have been any worse than the ice the Rangers skate on during home games at Madison Square Garden, which is notorious for its poor ice surface.

Eventually the NHL is going to have to consider the idea of moving the Winter Classic to a warm weather city, as it seems inevitable that the event will eventually become outplayed and tired.  Los Angeles could certainly be the city to give it a facelift – pun intended.

With the city’s beloved Kings now in the Stanley Cup Finals for just the second time since their inception in 1967, popularity for the sport and the team are at an all-time high.  There are plenty of other teams, as well as rivals, located within driving distance, making it easy to pack Dodgers Stadium in, while still earning plenty of media attention.

There is also a sense of mystery behind the idea of holding it in Los Angeles.  How exactly they would get the ice prepared and in good shape, during a time of year when the average low temperature is 48 degrees, is beyond us.  The ice would make it just that much more interesting.

Kasten might have just mentioned the idea in passing, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he lobbies for the event within the next few years.  For now we’ll just sit back and wait for the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

Photo Credit: AP

Ed is the lead hockey writer for CraveOnline Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @PhillyEdMiller, and subscribe on Facebook @ CraveOnlineSports.