Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium could be about to make history again. Famous for its sporting events, which include soccer, rugby and even motor sports as well as countless concerts the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff has become world renowned for its versatility and presentation. Now a group of business men want to persuade the NHL a game to the stadium with a game that would be the first outdoor game in the UK and the NHL’s first ever outside of North America.
The owner of the Cardiff Devils Paul Ragan is one of the men behind the plan that would see an NHL game in 2014. Ragan’s plan has been backed by the Welsh government as part of the Welsh Capital’s celebration at being the European Capital of Sport in 2014.
It could be a tough ask though. The NHL has already confirmed that teams will not start the 2012 – 13 season in Europe and in there will be the Sochi Olympics in 2014 as well. Although these problems may be overcome once the NHL’s new CBA is signed. A delegation will travel to New York for more talks later in the summer are also hoping to persuade the relevant people. The delegations plan will be to make the Millennium Stadium a permanent fixture for the NHL for 3 to 5 years and that the NHL games will be the highlight of a festival that would include junior and EIHL games.
It is possible that the Millennium Stadium could become a home for the Winter Classic but it is more likely that the NHL would bring teams to the UK for the opening weekend of the season like the previous Premiere Series.
It would of course not be the first time NHL sides have come to the UK. In 2007 the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks played a home and home series at the o2 in London in the first regular season meeting in the UK and exhibition games have been at Wembley Arena and the Odyssey in Belfast. But a game at the Millennium Stadium would be the first NHL game to be played outside (or under the retractable roof) outside of North America and could attract the largest attendance for an NHL game outside of North America at around 75,000.