Rockies working to bring NHL action to Coors Field
Negotiations underway for Avalanche to host game during 2015-16 season
DENVER -- The Rockies are working with the National Hockey League, the owners of the Colorado Avalanche and sponsor MillerCoors toward bringing an NHL Stadium Series game to Coors Field during the 2015-16 season.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort mentioned the possibilities last offseason during a social media chat, and again during Spring Training. Greg Feasel, the Rockies' executive vice president and chief operating officer, has been negotiating with the parties involved. The game would be part of the Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. Last year, there were two games at Yankee Stadium, one at Dodger Stadium and one at Soldier Field.
"We'd love to have it, and we've been talking with everybody," Feasel said Thursday. "We've been talking with the NHL, MillerCoors and the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment folks. Nothing has happened yet, but we're still talking."
The Denver Post, quoting two NHL sources, reported Thursday that Denver is "very likely" to host an outdoor NHL game.
The logical timing for the NHL regular-season game would be during the winter. Last year, the games at Yankee Stadium and one at Dodger Stadium were in January-February, and the event at Soldier Field was March 1. Those events were early enough that they didn't affect the opening of baseball's regular season.
"We would love to build events around the event," Feasel said, indicating that if Denver is granted the Stadium Series contest, other outdoor hockey events would make it more than a one-day celebration.
Despite the presence of snowcapped mountains in the distance, weather in Denver can be mild and dry, even during the winter. But the success of last year's game at Dodger Stadium between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks proved that suitable ice can be produced outdoors in mild weather.
The Rockies have grown more amenable to outdoor events in recent years. They've followed games with concerts -- Ronnie Dunn of the award-winning country duo Brooks & Dunn in 2013 and award-winning soloist Sara Evans in 2014. During Spring Training, Monfort alluded to the possibility of Coors Field hosting a football game, such as Colorado State vs. Air Force.
Feasel said any special event has to "make sense for us. There are just a lot of factors in play. We know what our core business is -- our core business is baseball. We're looking for opportunities that make sense."