Penguins to play outdoors in Buffalo

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The Penguins have accepted an invitation to play outdoors Jan. 1 in Buffalo against the Sabres in what will be a 1:08 p.m. NBC game.

An official announcement from that network and the NHL about the so-called "Ice Bowl" is expected next month.

Both teams and NHL officials declined comment.

The New Year's Day game -- which will compete with college football bowl games for the television audience -- originally was scheduled for HSBC Arena but now will be played on a rink set up in Ralph Wilson Stadium.

That venue seats 73,967 for the NFL's Buffalo Bills and most likely will hold more for hockey.

Moving the game outdoors has been in the works for some time. It's believed negotiations with the Bills and the NFL were the final step.

In November 2003, Montreal played outdoors at Edmonton in that city's Commonwealth Stadium in front of 57,167 and in bitter cold. That game, called the Heritage Classic, was televised in Canada.


Shelly Anderson can be reached at shanderson@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1721.


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