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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

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh