NHL Outdoor Games

Multiple Locations, North America

In 2008, the National Hockey League started a fresh New Year’s Day tradition — an outdoor game called the Winter Classic. The league had dabbled with a handful of outdoor exhibitions in the past, but few of this scale and complexity. Dropping a regular season professional hockey game into a stadium requires big picture thinking and an attention to detail.

When it comes to the big picture, our event designers have a leg up thanks to their unrivaled knowledge of large-scale venues. During the early stages of planning for the original Winter Classic, we completed sightline studies to place the rink in the perfect location within the stadium.

From there, the planning kicked into overdrive. We provided overlay planning and documentation for the event as well as site supervision and oversight. From fan activations and broadcast compounds to rink details and refrigeration lines, our plans created an efficient and accurate layout. Our team spent the weeks leading up to event day on-site, helping with the overlay installation and event management.

Bringing the game of hockey back to its outdoor roots has captivated fans across the North American continent. A record 105,000 fans gathered to watch the 2014 Winter Classic in Michigan Stadium. What started as a single game in 2008 has blossomed into a series of annual outdoor games including the Stadium Series. Our event designers continue to raise the bar with each one.