Black and Blue, a Lincoln Stars blog, reports that the rumored outdoor hockey game will now be a doubleheader with the Stars and Omaha Lancers playing in the afternoon, followed by the UNO Mavericks versus North Dakota. The games would be played on Saturday, February 9, 2013. I like the idea of both Omaha teams playing outdoors.
I hate the idea of a doubleheader. Let's not forget this is February in Nebraska; is it a good idea to ask fans to spend 7-8 hours outdoors in a single day? Plus, let's not forget that the NHL has changed the starting time of the last two Winter Classics due to weather conditions. (A point that I brought up on MavPuck, which was referenced by Black and Blue.)
Spread the games over two days...or better yet, two weekends. Schedule the games for mid-late afternoon, because once the sun goes down, it'll only get even colder in the stands. Don't get me wrong; this should be a great event. Wisconsin is considering another outdoor hockey game; this time in Chicago at Soldier Field. Will it be a money maker? Hard to say; it's not cheap to set up a temporary rink. But it's an event; it'll bring people to Omaha. It'll fill hotels, as well as bars and restaurants around the downtown area on game day. (Another reason to spread the games over multiple days.)
And it helps in recruiting by showing prospective hockey players that Omaha is a great place to play college hockey because not every school can pull these off. Wisconsin can. Michigan can. Michigan State has. Now I think Omaha can do it as well.
Just not a doubleheader, please.