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Bettman tours new Yankee Stadium

Friday, 02.13.2009 / 2:53 PM / News

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

With the NHL All-Star Game in the rearview mirror, thoughts are once again turning to the League's newest regular-season showcase event, the Winter Classic.

Commissioner Gary Bettman told the fans tuned into his Sirius XM radio show, "The NHL Hour," Thursday that he toured the new Yankee Stadium this week to check out a potential site for the 2010 game.

Bettman said he was invited by the Yankees, but he cautioned that the League is not even remotely close to deciding on the lucky city that gets to host its celebrated outdoor game on New Year's Day.

"This was extremely preliminary," Bettman said. "To suggest we're even at the embryonic stage would be an exaggeration."

The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago last month provided the League with a bonanza of good publicity. The game, televised in the United States by NBC, drew the best overnight ratings for a regular season game in nearly 13 years and were 12 percent better than the inaugural NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo.

The game between the Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks earned a 2.9 overnight rating and a 6 share. Tickets were nearly impossible to come by as the city of Chicago embraced the game as if the Super Bowl came to town.

"Year One was an extraordinary experience," NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer said. "Year Two was the establishment of what promises to be a great tradition."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com
Quote of the Day

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6