Report: Mexico City trying to land NHL exhibition games

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Interesting tidbit here, from Sports Business Journal (by way of Mexican news agency Notimex):

Mexico City sports and government officials “are working to bring NHL games to the city,” according to NOTIMEX.

Mexican Ice Hockey Federation (FDMHSH) President Joaquín de la Garma said on Wednesday that he has had two meetings with NHL execs about holding games during the next NHL preseason.

To host a game, an ice rink would have to be installed, “most likely in Mexico City’s Palacio de los Deportes.”

If this facility is not available for sponsorship reasons, other possibilities would be convention centers. De la Garma claimed that the most popular NHL teams in Mexico are the San Jose Sharks, L.A. Kings, Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins, “but added that it would be the NHL that would decide which teams would play.”

De la Garma: “The idea is to organize two games, one on Friday night and the other on Sunday at noon”

The NHL has a history of international exhibition contests, though they’ve largely been held in Europe and Asia.

As for the rumored arena? Palacio de los Deportes is located in Mexico City and can hold between 17,000-20,000 spectators. It would be a much larger venue than the Icedome, which hosted the 2015 Pan American Ice Hockey Tournament.

Mexico currently sits 32nd overall in the IIHF rankings. Mexico City (and the Icedome) will host the 2016 IIHF World Championships Division II “B” Group this spring, a competition that will include Australia, New Zealand, Bulgaria, Israel and North Korea.