Boston just hosted the Winter Classic, the NHL’s annual outdoor game.
Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he’d heard the idea floated that the Celtics might someday take one of their games outdoors, too. While that possibility remains a long way from materializing, it might be more than a pipedream.
Celtics president Rich Gotham said in a phone interview that he and Red Sox president Sam Kennedy have had cursory discussions in recent years about the Celtics playing at Fenway Park.
The Suns staged outdoor preseason games in Indian Wells, Calif., in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Before that, the last outdoor NBA games were a pair of 1972 exhibitions in Puerto Rico.
Needless to say, Boston is neither Southern California nor Puerto Rico. The only times it would potentially be warm enough are April and October – and that’s a major crapshoot.
Most likely, this would be a preseason game. That would mean October, though the Red Sox could be playing then (also an obstacle in April). I just can’t see anyone in charge wanting a game that counts outside, and this could spark ticket sales for what would otherwise be a low-interest preseason game. There are diminishing returns in upgrading a regular-season game to a special, one-time event.
I like the novelty of outdoor games, and NBA players shouldn’t be so coddled that they can’t handle reasonable elements. We’ve all played basketball outside. It’s not so bad. I’m actually not even against outdoor regular-season games so long as there’s not increased injury risk. Both teams would play in the same conditions.
I’m just not sold on scheduling an outdoor game in Boston, where the weather can be so harsh.
At least if it’s a preseason game, it could be re-scheduled or cancelled (possible with prolonged severe weather and/or a Red Sox playoff series) with minimal problems.