ClassicSpeak with Gary Bettman
Q: Why go back to the Penguins only three years after they played in the original Winter Classic?
A: The Penguins are an interesting and attractive team both in Pittsburgh and nationally, and the rivalry between the Pens and Caps, Sidney (Crosby) and (Alex) Ovechkin, makes for exciting and entreating story line. We thought we could do a good job with these two teams to promote it.
Q: What was attractive about Heinz Field after holding the last two Classics at baseball parks?
A: Heinz Field is a big stadium. There are almost 130 suites. It may have one of the biggest video screens in the NFL, which is important because the lower seats you don't get to see as much. A lot of people are there for the event purpose. It won't be the same as sitting at Consol Energy Center. At the Classic, higher up is better than lower down. We can have 75 cameras covering the game from all angles. Logistically, we got the level of support and infrastructure we needed to make this work. How we do a Classic is very site specific. We try to build year to year to make it bigger and better.
Q: You've talked about always believing in Pittsburgh as a market. Why did you have such faith?
A: I've never doubted the strength of the NHL and Penguins in Pittsburgh. It's why we did what we did a number of years ago when the viability and very future was threatened. That belief has obviously been vindicated, if you will. Look at the attendance, sponsor support and local TV ratings, which are among the strongest in the country. There is an absolute love affair between Western Pennsylvania and the Pens. ... With no due disrespect to any other team there, and everybody knows how strong the interest is in the Steelers, the Pens don't have to apologize to anybody. They are a force. This is a team that is revered.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ex-teammates say Kessel unfairly criticized
- New Penguin Kessel’s shot is what makes him special
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Penguins bringing back defenseman Cole with 3-year extension
- Penguins sign defensive prospect