BOSTON (CBS) — Outdoor NHL hockey is going to look different this year. Very, very different.
The NHL on Monday confirmed that two games will be played at Lake Tahoe in late February, with the first game being played between the Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche and the second one involving the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers.
“It is always an honor for the Bruins to be chosen to play in one of the NHL’s premier events,” Bruins president Cam Neely said. “Each time we have played outdoors it has been a great experience for our players and fans, and we expect Lake Tahoe to be the same. It promises to be a unique environment which will make for a great TV viewing experience.”
Hello, Tahoe! 🗻
— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) January 11, 2021
The games will be held on a rink built on the 18th fairway of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort. The Avalanche and Knights will play on Saturday, Feb. 20, while the Bruins and Flyers will play the following day on Feb. 21. Both games will be played at 3 p.m. ET.
With fans unable to attend games because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL sought to find an outdoor venue that would work without a crowd.
“You close your eyes, and [majestic is] what you keep on seeing,” NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer said. “And so, could we find an area that would lend itself to that vision? I think we all had seen the movie ‘Mystery, Alaska.’ … We just sort of had this imagery of this spectacular outdoors and embracing the environment and the wilderness, just a bunch of guys playing for the love of the game, you know?”
The locker rooms will be built to look like wooden cabins, and the atmosphere will be similar to a true outdoor game.
“Yes, we’re going to be on a golf course, but you will not be able to tell with how picturesque everything will be,” Mayer said. “There will be no signs of that at all.”
This will mark the fourth outdoor game for the Bruins since the NHL began its tradition. Boston beat the Flyers in the 2010 Winter Classic at Fenway Park and beat the Blackhawks in the 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium, while losing to the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium.