The Blackhawks Will NOT Play Outdoors This Season
About 15 years ago, the statement that an NHL team wouldn't be playing outdoors would have been an obvious statement. There are a couple of reasons why that's significant today.
It was being whispered that a couple of NHL teams were considering moving some of their 2021 season outdoors to possibly accommodate fans. Chicago fans started to speculate just where the Blackhawks could play. Soldier Field, Wrigley, Sox Park, there was even thought of turning Northerly Isle into an outdoor rink. Right on the lake in February? That would have been pretty cold.
Unfortunately, for Blackhawk fans, it looks like Chicago won't be moving outdoors for COVID reasons anytime soon.
NBCSports - While the bottom-line logistics would make it unlikely, four NHL teams have looked into the possibility of playing 2020-21 NHL regular season games outdoors....the four teams are: the Anaheim Ducks, Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The NBC article notes that it is considerably more expensive to operate an outdoor arena, so financially it wouldn't make sense. Teams are also speculating that outdoor arenas would even be allowed to seat fans. No point in playing outdoors if no one will be in the stands.
The other reason the Hawks will not be playing outdoors is because they were not chosen to participate in this years Winter Classic. The NHL tradition of playing at least one game outdoors on New Year's Day.
It's a break for the Blackhawks on New Year's Day. They have been involved in 6 Winter Classics dating back to 2009 including every year since 2014 with a break in 2018. In the 6 contests, the Blackhawks are a woeful 1-5.
It's probably a good year for the Blackhawks to take a break from the national spotlight. They probably want to focus on getting to the playoffs first.