Gary Bettman at a podium answering questions.
Photo credit: Sporting News

NHL and Gary Bettman have a major problem with the Winter Classic

Published January 3, 2024 at 7:25 PM
Over the 20 years the NHL has been trying to grow it's fan base different concepts on how the fans can watch the game.

One game is the NHL Winter Classic. This game is usually held in a football stadium outdoors during the winter On New Year's Day. Over the past several days, the numbers have come in and the news does not look good for the NHL.

It's clear early on the numbers were really good - especially when the teams that were playing against one another were storied franchises and bitter rivals. Over the past several years, they have not gone back to many of those teams again. With this season's game including the two latest expansion teams, it's clear the fans have tuned out the game.

It's safe to say that the NHL would like to see those numbers rebound. It's likely they will have to put in several original 6 or teams from 1960 sevens expansion to help energize the numbers. These outdoor specialty games are massive contributors to the NHL's revenue, and seeing these numbers decline over time will be extremely concerning to the league and Gary Bettman - especially as the current CBA is coming to a soon close and the salary cap is expected to go up.

They could also mix an original six with an expansion team during their schedule, which will help grow new fans and build new rivalries.

The NHL has work to do and it remains to be seen if the commissioner and his team will change it to get fans back.
January 3   |   406 answers
NHL and Gary Bettman have a major problem with the Winter Classic

Do you watch the Heritage Classic every year?

Yes - It's always on my watchlist11929.3 %
No - I'm celebrating New Year's Day12230 %
Maybe - if only certain teams play16540.6 %
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