LAKE LOUISE – The NHL might be looking to score big with an outdoor game in Lake Louise, but it will have to dangle past Parks Canada’s approval first.
The federal government organization, which manages national parks and historic sites, said it hasn’t received a formal proposal regarding an NHL event in Banff National Park, where Lake Louise is located, after a rumour circulated that the iconic Alberta lake might be a destination to host a game next season.
“Any sporting event in a national park would have to be considered in the context of Parks Canada's commitment to ecological integrity as well as all applicable legislation, policies, and guidelines,” according to a Parks Canada statement provided to the Outlook.
“Until a proposal is received, Parks Canada cannot make any determinations about whether or not this event could occur in a national park.”
The statement added that any events would be required to comply with all provincial health directives regarding the prevention of COVID-19.
Outdoor games are common each season in the NHL and have been played in Calgary's McMahon Stadium all the way to Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
What fired up the hockey community about this rumoured game was a Friday (Oct. 9) article from The Star, in which an anonymous industry source claimed the NHL is internally considering an outdoor game on Lake Louise on opening day next season.
The NHL’s next season has a tentative start date of Jan. 1.
According to an industry source who requested anonymity in order to speak freely, Alberta’s Lake Louise — with its famous Rocky Mountain backdrop — has been discussed internally as a possible location for opening day.https://t.co/qxQCNIJybE— Toronto Star (@TorontoStar) October 10, 2020
Banff Lake Louise Tourism declined to comment on the matter.
Lake Louise, located about 180 kilometres west of Calgary, is an active spot for ice skaters and hockey players during wintertime.
When the lake freezes over, the snow on the ice is cleared and maintained for casual and competitive play of Canada’s game such as with the annual Lake Louise Pond Hockey Classic.
The tourism hotspot annually welcomes approximately 3.2 million visitors per year.