We’re just a little over 24 hours away from the last Stadium Series game of the NHL season and I’ve got a little crowdsourcing to do in regards to the whole outdoor hockey phenomenon. While I was driving home after the Ranger game last night I had my radio tuned to The Score. In a rare moment of utility, the host whose name I can’t remember sparked an interesting discussion. Has outdoor hockey lost its appeal already and is the NHL overdoing it with now five of these outdoor games in a season?

Now, the question seems simple on its face. However if you’re reading our little digital space here then chances are you’re pretty obsessed with Blackhawks hockey. The outdoor games aren’t really for us. They’re for the casual fan that only tunes into hockey when something out of the ordinary occurs. I think back to the first Winter Classic in Buffalo and watching it with people who had otherwise never even seen a hockey game. On Saturday night with only the NBA and college basketball to really compete with, the odds are strong that this game will win the night in terms of ratings (an admittedly archaic measure of popularity).

What those of us that spend every spare moment at work searching for Blackhawks distractions really care about with these games are the revenue implications. There’s going to be 55,000 seats available for this game. That’s about two and a half Blackhawks home gates. It’ll raise hockey related revenue which will in turn raise the salary cap for a team that is constantly seeking to be up against it like Chicago. It’ll attract sponsorship money from new NHL partners. We’re just small potatoes at CtA and even we were contacted by a sponsor to plug their products.

[pats self on back for seamless segue]

If you’re going to the game like three of us here are, we encourage you to visit the Can-Am Spyder booth to check out some of the hockey related revenue that they are providing. Just as the NHL is delivering open-air experiences to fans through its Outdoor Stadium Series, the Can-Am Spyder is the only vehicle that combines the exhilaration of open-air riding with confidence and control. To learn more about Can-Am Spyder visit them on Facebook and Twitter. They’re one of many official NHL partners with the Stadium Series that will be helping raise the salary cap.

I’ll actually be down there briefly while Nakis sits in the lap of warm luxury that is the United Club. I’ll be using the exhaust pipe on the Spyder for warmth (may not be recommended). While they won’t let you take the three wheeler onto the Soldier Field turf to rip donuts, if you want to test drive a Can-Am Spyder and learn more about its three-wheel stance and seven automotive technologies, find your local dealerships here.

Yes, that’s Mark Messier and a three wheeled motorcycle

Now that Milhouse has our soul…

What were talking about again? Oh, right. Crowdsourcing and the Stadium Series. Have they jumped the shark on the whole thing? Are there too many outdoor games? Are you going to this one? Why is there a snowstorm coming here on March 1st? Wouldn’t you rather see two elite teams built on speed play on an indoor track?

Answers in order: Probably not, but maybe a little. No, people will pay American currency (or Canadian) to go to outdoor games even if there were 15 of them. Yes, I am (Thanks sponsors!).  Because the invisible sky person wants me to freeze and be miserable for doing a sponsored post because of course. Well, yeah.

Let us know what you think.