Where Could an Outdoor Game Be Held in Manitoba?
Photo credit:© Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
By Angus Hout2 years ago
Before the NHL announced the 2020-21 schedule last season, there was some speculation that there’d be an outdoor game played at Lake Louise between the Edmonton Oilers and the Calgary Flames to open the regular season, which would’ve been such a cool game to watch.
Building off that thought, I was thinking where in Manitoba could the Winnipeg Jets play on a lake and show off how beautiful the province is. So I’ve got three potential ideas where they could host an outdoor game in future seasons.
I think hosting an outdoor game at Lake Winnipeg in Gimli would be the most obvious choice. It’s only an hour to Gimli from Winnipeg. The game could happen in the marina to protect the players from the wind. The ice is thick there and this spot would feature plenty of space for cameras.
It’d be another boost for the local economy in the winter, and if it was well-timed, the NHL could partner with Mercedes-Benz and show off the ice track that’s in Gimli. There would be plenty of hotel space in the area and there are some quality restaurants in the area. I’ve gone skating on Lake Winnipeg and it’s one of my favorite spots to go skating in the winter.
My second choice is closer to the Ontario border, but to hold a game at Falcon Lake would be a great place to play. It’d showcase some of the more rugged sides of Manitoba. Again, it’d be a massive boost to the local economy.
As for where to assemble the rink, the ideal spot would be near the bottom of the ski slopes. It’d be really cool angle if you could set up cameras up the ski hill and allow spectators to watch from the slopes. From a business perspective, it probably wouldn’t be ideal for Falcon Ridge as the NHL would likely require a week to set up, but if they were highly compensated for this event, it’d be amazing to host a game from there.
Falcon Ridge Ski Slopes
My third spot to host a hypothetical outdoor game would be at East Blue Lake in Duck Mountain Provincial Park. This is probably the least likely destination out of all three locations, as it’s almost five hours away from Winnipeg, however, I think this spot is the best-looking spot for a hockey game.
This is a beautiful lake that every hockey fan should visit once in their life, there are lots of trees in the area for protection from the wind and there’d be a power source around since there’s a campground nearby. That being said, I suspect there’d be a few downsides to this venue. You’d have to receive permission from the provincial government, it’s 418 km from Winnipeg and it’d be nearly impossible to bring fans to this game. As much as I’d love to see a northern game in Manitoba, I doubt it could really work.
Which Team Could Jets Face?
There are three possible opponents, two of which could be the Oilers or Flames. Travel wouldn’t be a major concern for either team and both of them have already established the start of a rivalry with the Jets. The ultimate opponent would be the Minnesota Wild. I think the Wild and Jets should have a bigger rivalry and an outdoor game might spark exactly that, allowing us to watch a battle between two of the coldest cities in North America.
Let me know in the comments where you’d want to see an outdoor game take place for the Jets and who would you want to see them play against in this hypothetical matchup.
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