Montreal Canadiens To Possibly Play NHL Outdoor Game At Parc Jean-Drapeau In 2016
For the first time ever in the city.
It looks like Habs owner, Goeff Molson, is looking for more than just the Winter Classic, Stadium Series and Heritage Classic to get his outdoor NHL hockey fix, and more specifically wants to see the Canadiens playing outside in Montreal as soon as next year.
The last time we saw the Habs play outside was at the 2011 Heritage Classic against the Calgary Flames, with the latter winning 4-0, and while the next Winter Classic is set to be an epic one, with the Canadiens going up against the Boston Bruins, it will be hosted in New England. The NHL has been putting on outdoor games since as far back as 1954, mostly in stadiums in the US, in cities that don't even have snow (California, 2014), but surprisingly enough, Montreal has yet to host one of our own.
Well, this could be a reality as soon as next season, but right now it is a question of location, location, location. The venue needs to be able to accomodate tens of thousands of fans, and ideally requires proximity to a metro station.
In an interview with La Presse, Molson's most obvious choice is currently Parc Jean-Drapeau, but other potential considerations are the Saputo Stadium, the Percival-Molson Stadium, and even the old Hippodrome. The problem with those locations lies in the fact that none of them are near enough to metros.
Mayor Coderre has also expressed interest in seeing an outdoor Habs game happen in Montreal, suggesting the Old Port as a possible site, but admitted that he was leaning toward Parc Jean-Drapeau, and we tend to have to agree with him. Imagine watching the Habs play outdoors, with the St-Laurence River and the Montreal skyline as a backdrop. Real talk, that would be magical, and you know it.