The spaceship that is Soldier Field will play host to a double-header in college hockey late next season. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Remember when you had a cold and your mom wouldn't let you play out in the snow because she didn't want you to get more sick? That's how BG must feel right now. They want to play outside with the big kids but the Hockey Gods that be won't let them.
This comes after Soldier Field FINALLY announced a double-header will be played inside it's spaceship walls on February 17th, 2013. The games will be between WCHA and future Big Ten rivals Minnesota and Wisconsin, and recent CCHA powers Miami and Notre Dame. Remember, I first reported this news in April, I think. This has been a long time coming.
Now Miami isn't the only MAC team playing an outdoor game this year. With the 2013 Winter Classic heading to Ann Arbor, the city of Detroit wants to host some outdoor games of their own (since they host the Red Wings). Comerica Park will host the Great Lakes Invitational. The 3 annual participants (Michigan, Michigan State, and Michigan Tech) welcome WMU into the mix this year, and each team is guaranteed 2 games in the winter air. WMU takes on Michigan State, and gets either Michigan or Michigan Tech in the 2nd game.So you have to feel for Bowling Green. They struggled last year, but really made a push in the CCHA tournament. They made it all the way to Detroit, and pushed Michigan to double OT in the semi-finals. Now, in their last year in the CCHA, they have to watch as WMU, Miami, and Michigan, all teams who were also in Detroit last year, get outdoor games while they have to play every one of their games indoors.
What are the prospects for each team to play an outdoor game going forward? Well, for WMU and Miami, very high. They have Big Ten teams nearby. They will be playing some big name teams in the NCHC next year. Shoot, they'll even have each other.
For BG? It doesn't look good. They go to the WCHA next year. Their closest conference mate is Ferris State. After that? Lake Superior State in the U.P. That's not much for regional rivalries. They don't have the recent success either to possibly swindle a good game out of some of the bigger teams. They could get a WMU or Miami game, but it wouldn't be outdoors.
So what does the future hold? Outdoor games are losing their luster (sort of). Yet, they still will keep happening. If BG can keep winning, and Ferris State does the same, then maybe you could see something where either Toledo or Grand Rapids hosts an outdoor game on a minor league field. Otherwise, I don't see it happening in the near future for BG.