The Boston Celtics took notice as the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens geared up for their 2016 NHL Winter Classic showdown at Gillette Stadium, and they apparently dig the whole outdoor concept.
Celtics president Rich Gotham recently told The Boston Globe that he and Boston Red Sox president Sam Kennedy have had cursory discussions in recent years about playing an outdoor game at Fenway Park. Those talks obviously haven’t gotten very far, but the informal chatter at least leaves open the possibility that an NBA game might someday come to America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.
“I’ve gotten into it. I really do like the idea,” Gotham told The Boston Globe. “I think, if you can find a way to sort of differentiate the game and make it fun for fans, that’s a great thing. And the Winter Classic certainly does that.
“Even when Fenway stages certain events, like football games, it just makes it more special for people involved and the fans. I think if you can do it, great. At the same time, my job requires me to be pragmatic, so you’d need to look at the hurdles.”
Weather and scheduling could pose problems, as the NBA regular season typically begins in late October and ends sometime in April. New England weather, of course, is as unpredictable as ever within that window, and the Red Sox begin their home slate in April and could play throughout October if they make the playoffs.
That means the Celtics and the NBA will need to be creative to make a Fenway Park game a reality. A preseason game at Fenway inherently would be less intriguing than a regular-season contest, but it might be the only option.
Either way, it sounds like the Celtics are keeping an open mind. Celtics head coach Brad Stevens said last week an outdoor game would be “fun” if done right. And Fenway Park seems like a great potential host venue, especially with the success of its other outdoor events in recent years.
“Whether or not there is a way, I don’t know, because it would be tricky,” Gotham said, per the Globe. “But I’m a fan of those college games at those alternate venues. I think those are good for fans of the sport. I’m generally pro sort of thinking opportunistically.”
The most storied franchise in NBA history playing at the most storied ballpark in Major League Baseball history? Don’t stop dreaming, Boston.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images
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