UPDATE: Dallas Stars CEO, Jim Lites, mentions to Mike Heika of the Dallas News, “The Stars are close to completing a deal that is expected to produce a four-day training camp at the Fort Worth Convention Center Sept. 11-14 and also would include preseason games in San Antonio and Oklahoma City,” Lites said. “We’ve had a long-standing relationship with Fox Sports Southwest, and we’re very interested in making ourselves the Hockey Team of Texas, and really the entire Southwest,’’ Lites continued. “We’d love to expand our footprint from New Orleans to Tulsa to Houston and beyond. We want to get people excited about the Dallas Stars.’’
Due to the Tornadoes in the OKC area this week, I’d presume that the Barons have postponed their announcement of this game. Hard to celebrate anything with much fanfare at the current time. More to come.
Where there’s smoke there’s fire, and where there’s people in suits talking about NHL hockey in Oklahoma City, there’s a preseason game to be played. It appears that this Wednesday, the Barons, alongside the Edmonton Oilers and Dallas Stars, will announce that a late September 2013 preseason game will place the Oilers vs the Stars in Oklahoma City. One year removed from the NHL lockout, and NHL players migrating to the various farm teams, Oklahoma City will again play host to players from the greatest hockey league in the world.
The Dallas Stars, scheduled to play a September 20th preseason game against the Florida Panthers perhaps in San Antonio (Rampage are the farm team), will make the I-35 trek northward to Oklahoma City presumably the week of September 20-27.
This is exciting news if you’re a fan of hockey in the state of Oklahoma (and Texas by extension). The timing is also pretty interesting given the current state of attendance for Oklahoma City Barons hockey games, which has somehow wiggled itself into last place in both regular and post season numbers in 2013.
This might give a boost in attendance, it might not. Historically speaking, OKC has hosted at least four NHL events of this nature since 1990, and all were poorly attended by high-end NHL market standards despite the build up. More to come on that, at this site, in the coming days.
Regardless, this is a huge announcement for Oklahoma City, and hopefully Oilers fans find value in it as well (tough sell, I know). Official word will be made on Wednesday at 2:00pm, I’ll assume the public is invited, but we’ll wait and see.