Chicago gave the world its first skyscraper back in 1884, and the city’s skyline is still one of the best you’ll find. It’s Chicago’s calling card to the rest of the world, particularly when it’s lit up at night. And Soldier Field, with the city’s skyline just a few blocks away, offers an unparalleled vista. There’s really nothing else like it in professional sports arenas.
When the NHL wanted to slingshot out of the Olympic hockey tournament, and refocus the attention on itself as the home of the world’s best hockey players, it couldn’t have picked a better venue than Soldier Field. And on top of that, Nature cooperated by ordering up a snowstorm that was constant, but not overwhelming. The novelty of playing the game outdoors has helped to establish the NHL’s Winter Classic in recent years, and made the Stadium Series this year into a big hit, as well. But nothing says “We’re playing outdoors” like a snowfall , which made the game’s already strong optics into something that no one watching the game will soon forget.
There’s been some talk that the NHL might pull the plug on offering its best players to the Winter Olympics. The loss of revenue during the Games, along with the threat of injury to its players, could mean that the last NHL star has appeared on Olympic ice. But be that as it may, the game of hockey received a boost from the Olympic tournament, and the NHL did well to seize on the post-Olympics interest that still remains. It even went one step further, because none of the Olympic hockey games offered an outdoor setting, and falling snow, and the view of anything as spectacular as Chicago’s skyline.
Congratulations to the NHL on their achievement of bringing the focus back onto their teams and their players. And if they scored a goal on Saturday night, then Chicago deserves to get an assist. It was a great night, all the way around.