WHL goes outdoors

The Spokane Chiefs and Kootenay Ice will square off in the Western Hockey League’s first ever outdoor game.

The Rockstar Outdoor Hockey Classic will be played Jan. 15 at Spokane’s Avista Stadium.

“Since the NHL held an outdoor game in Buffalo in 2008, I have wanted the Chiefs to play in one,” said Spokane president Bobby Brett. “I think it will be an unbelievable event for our players and fans.”

This will be the first of two outdoor games played in the league this year.

The Calgary Hitmen will host the Regina Pats on Feb. 21 at McMahon Stadium.

WHL commissioner Ron Robison is pleased to have two of the league’s key markets hosting these games.

“The WHL appreciates the commitment the Spokane Chiefs have made to stage the first ever outdoor game in one of our longest standing and most successful U.S. markets,” he said. “Our fans in Spokane and throughout the U.S. Pacific Northwest and Western Canada will not want to miss this historic outdoor event.”

Prices will range from $25-$100, with Chiefs season ticket holders getting the first crack at securing seats.

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Sept. 1.

The ice surface will be installed and maintained by a team that includes Willy Bietak Productions out of Santa Monica, California, Top Shelf Arena Service’s Mike Craig and Dan Craig and Dave Gebhardt of the Spokane Public Facilities District.

The Avista Arena has hosted two U.S. Figure Skating Championships, a WHL All-Star game and a Memorial Cup under Gebhardt’s direction.

Get more info at www.whl.ca.

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