NHL

Ryan Smith, Mark Harlan Tease NHL Stadium Series Game At Utah

Apr 13, 2024, 10:07 AM | Updated: Apr 15, 2024, 2:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Prospective hockey team owner Ryan Smith and Utah athletic director Mark Harlan teased a potential NHL Stadium Series game at Rice-Eccles Stadium.

Ryan Smith & Mark Harlan tease NHL Stadium Series game at Rice-Eccles

The pair of sports figures in the state discussed the possibility of such an event on social media on April 13.

A day earlier, players for the NHL‘s Arizona Coyotes were reportedly told that the franchise would be relocating to Utah.

RELATED: Arizona Coyotes Players Reportedly Informed Of Relocation To Utah

Smith, who already owns the NBA’s Utah Jazz and Real Salt Lake of MLS, is expected to become the Coyotes’ next owner. On Saturday morning, the expected hockey team owner shared a post on X regarding an NHL Stadium Series game at the University of Utah.

@JazzePinkman on X shared an image of a previous NHL Stadium Series game and another of a Rice-Eccles Stadium on the campus of the University of Utah. “Hear me out. A stadium series game in Rice-Eccles,” @JazzePinkman wrote.

Smith reposted the post, added his excitement for the idea, and tagged Utah president Taylor Randall.

“Umm.. This would totally be happening. I know @PresidentUofU would be down. You get it,” Smith said.

“Bring. It. On…..!!!!” Harlan replied to Smith’s comment.

NHL Stadium Series

The NHL Stadium Series began in 2014 and consists of regular season league games played outdoors.

The series has featured 11 games with 14 different franchises. The first NHL Stadium Series game was played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The most recent outdoor NHL game was at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

NHL Stadium Series games that have been played close to Utah were held in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2020 and Denver, Colorado in 2016.

In 2025, Ohio State University will host an outdoor contest between the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Coyotes reported move to Utah

An official announcement on the Coyotes’ relocation to Utah is reportedly expected within a week. Should Smith and the state of Utah land the Coyotes, Rice-Eccles Stadium would make a perfect home for an outdoor NHL contest.

Utah’s football stadium is nestled up against the Wasatch Range of the Rocky Mountains. The backdrop for an NHL Stadium Series game at R.E.S. would be breathtaking if the mountains were coated with “The Greatest Snow on Earth.

Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported April 18 as the day for an official announcement by the NHL on the Coyotes’ move to Utah.

The team wraps up its regular season schedule at home on Wednesday, April 17.

Yotes this season

The Coyotes own a 35-40-5 record this season and sit in seventh place in the Central Division.

Arizona has two games left on its schedule. The Yotes’ next game is on the road against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, April 14 at 6 p.m. (MT). The Coyotes close out the season vs. the Oilers at Mullett Arena in Tempe, Arizona on April 17 at 8 p.m. (MT). Both games will be broadcast on NHLPP/ESPN+.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. Listen to Ireland on Yards After College: An NFL Podcast. Follow him on X (@kyleireland), Threads (@kyleirelandksl), and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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Ryan Smith, Mark Harlan Tease NHL Stadium Series Game At Utah