Jokerit and SKA to play the first ever outdoor KHL game

Jokerit and SKA to play the first ever outdoor KHL game

13 Jun 2017 | KHL Weekly Newsletter
 

Jokerit and SKA are set to play the first ever outdoor KHL game when the teams meet on December 2. The game, planned as the KHL’s inaugural “Winter Classic”, will mark the 10th anniversary of the league, the 50th anniversary of Jokerit and the 100th anniversary of Finnish hockey.

 
 
 
 

The idea originated from the Finns, looking to celebrate those resonant anniversaries, and was enthusiastically supported by the KHL. The action will take place on one of Helsinki’s waterways, between the Siltasaari and Kaisaniemi districts, on a spot believed to be the birthplace of Finnish hockey a century ago. To celebrate the occasion, temporary stands holding 18,000 people will be assembled; much of the spectator accommodation will be on standing terraces, just as it would have been when those pioneering games were played in the early 20th century. If the game attracts a capacity crowd, it will be the highest ever KHL attendance.

While December’s Jokerit vs SKA game will be the first competitive KHL fixture to take place outdoors, it’s not the first time the KHL has staged an open-air event. Back in the league’s first season, the All-Star Game took place on a rink in Moscow’s iconic Red Square. In recent seasons, Russia’s second-tier VHL league has also held an annual ‘Russkaya Klassika’, starting in 2012 when more than 16,000 fans saw Sokol Krasnoyarsk host a reborn Lokomotiv Yaroslavl less than six months after the devastating air disaster that killed Lokomotiv’s first team.

The Winter Classic is just one of a series of exciting events planned to commemorate the 10th KHL season in 2017-18.

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