The Penguins will start 2008 in cool style by playing an outdoor game in Buffalo on New Year's Day.
Several NHL officials said today that the game between the Penguins and Sabres on Jan. 1, 2008 will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL's Bills. In a made-for-television event -- the game will air nationally on NBC -- the Penguins and Sabres will skate on an outdoor rink in front of what the NHL hopes will prove the largest audience ever to watch an NHL game in the United States.
Neither the league nor NBC would officially confirm the tentatively titled "Ice Bowl," which is scheduled to be played at 1 p.m. An official announcement is expected on Sept. 10, prior to the start of training camp.
"If and when we have something to announce we will make sure the announcement gets heard," NHL vice president of media relations Frank Brown said.
The Penguins had no comment about their involvement in an outdoor game.
The league previously approached the Penguins about possibly hosting the outdoor game, but the team declined so that it could focus on planning for its new arena. The Penguins told the league they would participate as a visiting team, as the NHL is believed to have desired two U.S. markets for the "Ice Bowl."
This will mark the league's second attempt an outdoor game. The Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers played in "The Heritage Classic" at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 22, 2003. That contest was played in sub-freezing temperatures, but was not televised live in the United States. That game attracted a crowd of more than 55,000 people.
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