Crossing sports in arenas isn't anything new, at neither football venues nor Chicago. Wrigley Field hosted both the Blackhawks and Red Wings at the 2009 Winter Classic and last year hosted the Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats in, well, one-dimensional offensive football. Heinz Field hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals in a more recent edition of the aforementioned Winter Classic.
And now, Soldier Field gets in on the act by hosting the Hockey City Classic on February 17, 2013, a double-header of matches between Notre Dame and Miami and Minnesota versus Wisconsin.
If Soldier Field is going to host an event of this nature, I'm at least happy that it's not going to be in the middle of football season - the last thing a field needs is to have its surface trampled upon by a thousand yoga-goers or the set of a Brad Paisley concert, right Wrigley? Especially for a field that has such the horrible reputation that Soldier Field's turf has.
Unfortunately, it's unlikely the Bears would see any money from this, as again, the Park District manages the field (and in addition to the hockey, will also be offering public ice skating for two days - the games will cap off two weeks of ice-rink related events). However, that doesn't mean the Bears will see no benefit, as the extra money that benefits the Park District could likely go to improving the field condition.
If these games are going to happen, though, at least a Chicago connection of some kind is important - Notre Dame isn't a bad start, but Minnesota and Wisconsin is a bit of a stretch. Next thing you know, they'll be playing a completely unrelated sport that barely (or doesn't) involve Chicago at all.
What are your thoughts on extracurricular events at sports stadiums? Should the host team get some kind of benefit from hosting the event?