Notre Dame open to hosting outdoor NHL game

Chris Hine
Chicago Tribune

Notre Dame is in the midst of a significant construction project to remake the area around Notre Dame Stadium.

But once the Campus Crossroads project is complete in the summer of 2017, the Irish are open to hosting an outdoor NHL game at Notre Dame Stadium some time after that, and there may be mutual interest from the NHL.

A report from Sportsnet on Saturday indicated the NHL was exploring the option of hosting an outdoor hockey game at Notre Dame, and Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said the school would have interest in hosting one. But Swarbrick said no talks have taken place.

"Once the Campus Crossroads project is finished we do anticipate that Notre Dame Stadium will be an excellent venue for more than just Notre Dame football games, but no additional events have yet been scheduled," Swarbrick said in a statement to the Tribune. "And while we would certainly have an interest in exploring the possibility of playing host to outdoor hockey games, we have not had any discussions with the NHL about doing so."

Presumably, the game would involve the Blackhawks, who hold their training camp at Notre Dame's Compton Family Ice Arena.The Hawks are also a favorite of the NHL's when it comes to playing outdoor games. They have played four in the last seven seasons and are reported to be the opponent in the Winter Classic in 2017 in St. Louis.

The NHL is looking at Notre Dame based off the success the league had in hosting the Winter Classic at a college venue — in this case Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor — in 2014. The Hawks also played at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium on Feb. 21, a game they lost 6-1 to the Wild.

Installation of field turf is completed at Notre Dame football stadium Tuesday July 30, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)