Is the NHL next for Jerry Jones?

Posted Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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AT&T Stadium in Arlington has hosted nearly every sport from football and soccer to professional bull riding.

How about hockey?

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said Monday it could be a possibility, just don’t expect it any time soon.

The NHL has created a market on outdoors and non-hockey stadium games, which began with the Jan. 1 Winter Classic and turned into a seven-game Stadium Series this season.

The key to bringing one to the home of the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones would be ticket sales.

“I certainly wouldn’t rule it out,” Bettman said. “It’s an unbelievable stadium. I think our focus will be on making sure that when we’re ready to come that it will be sold out. All of our outdoor games get sold out and that’s a big stadium.”

Bettman said if AT&T Stadium were to ever become a possibility, then the NHL’s event staff would inspect the stadium for the best possible game presentation.

However, those considerations aren’t even being thought of at the moment.

Bettman spoke to the media before Game 3 of the Dallas-Anaheim first-round Stanley Cup playoff game Monday night at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

He also talked about the state of the league.

Have the general managers asked you about the scoring system as far as the season standings?

“Occasionally, we get a couple of GMs who comment on it, but I think overwhelmingly people like what we have.”

There’s no appetite for change?

"Not in any large measure, no."

What's your early assessment of the new schedule and the new divisional alignment?

"Well, if you look at TV ratings and attendance, regular season and the beginning of the playoffs, it's all good. Reaction has been fine. Go back, remember what we were doing. We had some teams that were too far West, whether it was Dallas in the Pacific, or Minnesota in the Northwest, or Columbus and Detroit who wanted to go East. So we were able to deal with that and very fan friendly, especially for younger fans, let's say in Dallas so that they can see more road games on television at better times locally. Two, we wanted every team in every building at least once, and three, we wanted to emphasize rivalries, particularly geographic rivalries.

"I think we managed to accomplish that. Look at the match-ups in the playoffs. Terrific rivalries. Even this one is an old Pacific Division rivalry. Rangers-Philly, Boston-Detroit, Chicago-St. Louis. It's good stuff

Expansion? Is there more of an urgency because of the 16-14 discrepancy between the conferences?

"Only if you believe in symmetry. That's not the reason to expand. If you want to expand, you go to a place where there's interest, and you want to make sure there's a good building, there's a good market and there's good ownership. Those are the three most important things. We're getting lots of expressions of interest, but we haven't decided to invoke an expansion process. We're listening, but we're not doing anything.”

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