DALLAS, TX (WTVF) — So much for the South not embracing hockey. This year's NHL Outdoor Winter Classic in Dallas was a huge success. 85,630 rabid hockey fans packed The Cotton Bowl to watch the Nashville Predators take on the Dallas Stars in a nationally televised event.
20,000 Predators fans purchased tickets to the game, the most ever for a visiting team in Winter Classic history. "There were more people who attended today's game from Nashville than you can fit inside Bridgestone Arena," said a gleeful NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.
Which begs the question: Why haven't we seen an outdoor game in Music City? According to Bettman, it hasn't been for a lack of trying. "We've wanted an outdoor game in Nashville for some time now," said Bettman. "I don't want to point any fingers, but we haven't been able to put the logistics together."
As for the game, the Preds blew a two goal lead in a 4-2 loss. Despite the disappointment, the Players enjoyed the experience. "It was great," said goaltender Pekka Rinne. "The whole experience, having our families here with us, and the atmosphere and the crowd was amazing."
The Predators continue their road trip Saturday night in L.A. against the Kings.