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2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs

Gary Bettman: Florida Panthers to Participate in Outdoor Game Soon



Florida panthers outdoor
Could Marlins Park in Little Havana play host to the Florida Panthers and an ‘outdoor’ game in the future? // Photo @GeorgeRichards

SUNRISE — NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said during his ‘State of the League’ address on Saturday night that it would be good for the Florida Panthers to take part in an outdoor game.

When asked by Florida Hockey Now whether Marlins Park in Little Havana was being considered to host such a game, Bettman said he certainly liked the idea that it “has a roof and is air conditioned.’’

The Panthers have had conversations with the Miami Marlins about doing something hockey-related in the future.

With the Columbus Blue Jackets playing host to the Red Wings at the Buckeyes’ stadium at Ohio State next season, only the Panthers and Arizona/Utah franchises have not taken part in an outdoor game.

“I have not been there, but I hear it’s very nice,” Bettman said of Marlins Park in response to FHN’s question. “I’m not going to break any news today, but we are mindful of the fact that at some point it would be good for the Panthers to be in an outdoor game.

“We continue to explore options.’’

Marlins Park, while not necessarily a completely outdoor venue, has the capability of hosting an ice rink what with its very cold A/C and the fact the roof can stay closed until it needs to be open.

The Panthers were rumored to be part of an outdoor idea at the Buccaneers’ stadium in Tampa but that has been said to be nixed due to the fact that it does not have a roof and, while a little cooler in the winter months than South Florida, it can still get pretty hot.

This past season, the NHL held a pair of games at the Giants stadium at the Meadowlands with four teams playing.

Bettman mentioned that in his comments on the Panthers.

It should also be mentioned that 10 years ago, Bettman completely dismissed the idea of playing an ‘outdoor’ game at the Miami ballpark.

“We did something a little different this past season with two games in 24 hours at the same venue,’’ he said.

“We can only speculate what the future might hold in that regard.’’

Do not be surprised if the Panthers are part of either a Stadium Series or Winter Classic game during the 2025-26 season.

Perhaps even one with a tropical feel.

Panthers Lead Best-of-7 Series 1-0
  • When: Monday, 8 p.m.
  • Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
  • National TV: ABC
  • Streaming: ESPN+/Hulu
  • Radio: WQAM 560-AM; WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (West Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); WCZR 101.7-FM (Treasure Coast); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932, NHL app
  • Series Schedule, All Games 8 p.m. on ABC — Game 1: @Florida 3, Edmonton 0; Game 2: Edmonton at Florida, Monday; Game 3: Florida at Edmonton, Thursday; Game 4:Florida at Edmonton, Saturday June 15; Game 5*: Edmonton at Florida, Tuesday June 18; Game 6*: Florida at Edmonton, Friday June 21; Game 7*: Edmonton at Florida, Monday June 24. (*) – If Necessary
  • How They Got Here — Florida: d. Tampa Bay 4-1, Boston 4-2, New York Rangers 4-2; Edmonton: d. Los Angeles 4-1, Vancouver 4-3, Dallas 4-2.
  • This Season (Florida Won 2-0) — At Florida: Panthers 5, Oilers 3 (Nov. 20). At Edmonton: Panthers 5, Oilers 2 (Dec. 17).
  • Last Season: Edmonton Won 2-0
  • All-time Regular Season Series: Oilers lead 23-16-0, 3 ties
  • Postseason History: First Meeting

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Listen, an outdoor home game would be great, obviously, but why the hell can’t we be the away team somewhere? Why can’t go up the Boston. Why can’t go up to Toronto and play an outdoor game as the away team? We’ve got big enough rivalries agains both of the teams that it would be an appealing game for a national audience. With the success of the last five years, we deserve a nationaly televised outdoor game.

Jon Baldwin

I agree. Obviously there are challenges hosting a game in South Florida, but there is no reason the Panthers couldn’t be an away team up in the NE.

Having said that, a Panthers v Lightning game at Marlins park would be pretty cool.

Cats and Oilers

They want the game to be commercially successful as well. Even with the recent success of the Panthers, I don’t think a Tampa – Florida game would draw well nationally. Boston – Florida might, and I do think the added intrigue of it being in Florida would help. Home or away, the Cats deserve a game. If they do back to back games, the two teams that Florida and Tampa play one night could be teams the other one plays outdoors. Boston and Toronto would be nice and draw well


That’s why I specifically referenced those two teams, I think it would draw well nationally.

Cats and Oilers

Yes… I mentioned those teams specifically in agreement with your comment

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