Outdoor game in Tampa might not be doable, Gary Bettman says

Lightning

Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper, left, and National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman are all smiles after Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals against the Montreal Canadiens, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

TAMPA (WFLA) – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman who was in attendance for the regular-season opener between the back-to-back Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday night, said the NHL is intrigued and looks periodically at the possibility of holding an outdoor game in Tampa.

However, Bettman wonders if a game could work in the Florida heat.

“Do I think Tampa, is a market that can host this kind of major event? The answer’s yes,” Bettman said before Tuesday’s opener. “Do I think the support this club would get for an outdoor game would be phenomenal? The answer is yes. Do I have severe weather concerns? The answer is yes.”

The Lightning will play outdoors for the first time ever in 2022 as part of the National Hockey League’s Stadium Series against the Nashville Predators at Nissan Stadium in Nashville on Feb. 26, 2022.

The game will be the first outdoor game for the Lightning and the second for the Predators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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