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Outdoor NHL Games Could Happen Soon at Dodger Stadium or Other L.A. Venues

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By Diego Rentería

Angelenos, can you imagine watching a hockey game under SoCal skies somewhere like Dodger Stadium or the Rose Bowl? It could happen, and soon.

National Hockey League executives visited Los Angeles last week to explore holding an outdoor game in Los Angeles in the coming years, according to the L.A. Times.

John Collins, the NHL’s chief operating officer, and Don Renzulli, the NHL’s senior vice president of events, spoke with the Los Angeles Kings organization about hosting the NHL Winter Classic, however no one has spoken on the record about the proceedings or the details of the visit.

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Dodger Stadium is said to be at the top of the list of potential venues. Other venues considered for a Los Angeles Winter Classic include the Coliseum and Rose Bowl. Holding the Winter Classic at the Rose Bowl could conflict with the Rose Bowl game, played on New Years’ Day, since the Winter Classic is played on or around New Years’ Day, too, and the league needs about a week before the game to build the rink and a few days after the game to disassemble the equipment.

The Kings are no strangers to playing hockey outdoors. They took part in the first outdoor NHL game, a pre-season match, against the New York Rangers in the parking lot of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas in 1991. The Kings defeated the Rangers, 5-2, on a September day that saw temperatures reach 95 degrees before the game, and go down to 80 degrees by game time.

The NHL has held past Winter Classics at football and baseball stadiums in cold-weather cities. Of course, there wasn't one this year; the 2013 edition of the Winter Classic, which was scheduled to pit the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium, was canceled by the NHL lockout.