Pucks will replace footballs at Mosaic Stadium in Regina when the National Hockey League takes over for one day later this year.
The NHL confirmed Tuesday that the Winnipeg Jets will face off against the Calgary Flames at Mosaic Stadium on Oct. 26, 2019.
The news was announced during the second intermission at another outdoor game, the 2019 Winter Classic from Notre Dame Stadium in Indiana.
The outdoor game will be the first-ever regular season outdoor NHL game in Saskatchewan.
A news release from Evraz Place, which manages the 33,000-seat stadium, said the event is expected to return about $15 million to the local economy through visitor spending.
Tourism Saskatchewan, the City of Regina and the Regina Hotel Association provided funding and in-kind sponsorship to bring the Heritage Classic to the city.
<a href= »https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLJets?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw »>#NHLJets</a> share their excitement on playing the <a href= »https://twitter.com/hashtag/Flames?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw »>#Flames</a> in Regina, SK next season for the <a href= »https://twitter.com/hashtag/HeritageClassic?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw »>#HeritageClassic</a> at Mosaic Stadium. <a href= »https://t.co/aDY5efXpSu »>pic.twitter.com/aDY5efXpSu</a>
Phil Andrews, a spokesperson for the Regina Pats junior hockey team, expects the game to sell out. He thinks fans will be drawn to the idea of an outdoor match.
« I think there’s the nostalgia part of it, everybody that grew up playing hockey — you start by playing outside, it just kind of brings you back to the roots of it, » said Andrews.
« I think we’d be happy to be involved in any way and we’re going to have those discussions with the NHL, » said Andrews.
The Pats tried to organize its own outdoor games at Mosaic last February but they were ultimately cancelled.
Andrews said they were called off due to concerns over weather rather than poor ticket sales.
He thinks October is a better time to hold an outdoor game in Saskatchewan.
« If it’s anything like October was this year, I think it’s a perfect temperature, you know, minus 10, something like that, where you’re not going to freeze as a fan or as a player and you still have the ability to put the ice in and keep it cold and frozen, » said Andrews.
Similar event in Winnipeg sold out
Regina Mayor Michael Fougere said the event is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the city.
« The fan experience at Mosaic Stadium is spectacular with great views from every seat, wide concourses, a variety of hospitality offerings and premium seating areas that provide an incredible hosting experience, » said Fougere.
Winnipeg’s Investors Group Field sold out its 33,240 seats when it hosted the last NHL Heritage Classic in 2016.
Premier Scott Moe said in a news release the event will help promote Saskatchewan as an event-hosting destination.
« Hockey is part of Saskatchewan’s DNA. »
« Saskatchewan’s warm people and generous hospitality will provide a great welcome to some of the world’s best hockey players as they hit the ice outdoors in our new Mosaic Stadium, » he said.