New York’s Yankee Stadium will host a National Hockey League double-header next season, with the New York Rangers facing the New Jersey Devils on Jan. 26 and playing the New York Islanders three days later.
The games complete the NHL’s 2014 Stadium Series, which also includes a Jan. 25 matchup between the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, and a March 1 contest between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks at Chicago’s Soldier Field.
Yankee Stadium hasn’t hosted a hockey game since opening in 2009 next to the original Major League Baseball venue.
“The innovative nature of the Stadium Series affords the opportunity to have all three NHL teams in the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area play, outdoors, at one of the most-celebrated stadiums in the world,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. “We’ll be able to create a multi-faceted, multi-day experience for our fans.”
The Rangers, Islanders and Devils have combined to win 11 Stanley Cup championships, including eight of the past 32.
The Sunday, Jan. 26 game between the Rangers and Devils has a 12:30 p.m. start time, while the Jan. 29 matchup between the Rangers and Islanders starts at 7:30 p.m.
The NHL’s first regular-season game contested outdoors was played in 2003, when the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium. Since then, the NHL has held six more regular-season games outdoors, including the Rangers’ 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.
Five of the six most-watched regular-season NHL games in the U.S. in the past 38 years were played outdoors.
In addition to the Stadium Series, the NHL’s 2014 Winter Classic is scheduled for Jan. 1, when the Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium on the University of Michigan campus. The 110,000-seat stadium is the biggest in the U.S. and could break its own record for largest attendance at a hockey game, as 104,000 fans were at a 2010 contest between Michigan and Michigan State.