Report: Blackhawks may play in ND Stadium

Chris Hine and Teddy Greenstein Chicago Tribune
ND Insider

For the first time since 2013, the Blackhawks won't participate in an outdoor game this season, but they might be back in one as soon as next season — and at a unique venue.

Multiple sources told the Chicago Tribune that the NHL and Notre Dame have discussed hosting an outdoor game at Notre Dame Stadium featuring the Blackhawks and an opponent to be determined.

One source said there is a "good" chance of the Blackhawks playing in South Bend, Ind., possibly next season, with the opponent potentially being another Original Six franchise.

The game could be the NHL's Winter Classic, which is played on or around New Year's Day, or as part of the league's Stadium Series.

Notre Dame recently completed its $400 million Campus Crossroads Project around Notre Dame Stadium with the design of hosting events other than football games.

Athletic director Jack Swarbrick told the Chicago Tribune in February 2016 the school was interested in hosting an outdoor hockey game.

"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 then. "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."

The Hawks have played in five outdoor games, the most of any NHL team, including one at Wrigley Field and one at Soldier Field. They played in the Winter Classic last season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis against the Blues.