When the Toronto Maple Leafs schedule was released for the 2021-22 season there was a matinee away game scheduled for March 13th at 3:00PM vs the Buffalo Sabres. This isn’t news in itself, aside from the Maple Leafs rarely playing matinee games.
Today Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun reported that this game will not be played in Buffalo, as most games against the Sabres are, but played outdoors on our side of the border, at the home of the CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats and CPL Forge FC, Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton.
Leafs, Sabres could be in Hamilton outdoor game
The story came about after a Sabres fan twitter account noted the game was not part of the season ticket package:
Midnight scoop:— Sabres North (@SabresNorth) August 28, 2021
Hearing that the #Sabres will host the #Leafs in an outdoor game (!) in Hamilton, ON on Sunday, March 13, 2022 at Tim Hortons Field.
Expect an official announcement as early as this week. This is why the game is not included in Buffalo half-season tix packages.
These games always have more events happening around them, and with the NHL game being on a Sunday we could see more games during the week leading up to the main event. The OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs have a home game schedule for Saturday March 12th against the Oshawa Generals that could be played there. Currently the Marlies have an away game schedule against the Sabres AHL affiliate, the Rochester Americans that could become part of the event.
An outdoor game in Hamilton would be the Maple Leafs fourth time playing outdoors. They first went to Ann Arbour Michigan to play the Detroit Red Wings in the Big house; the University of Michigan football stadium, where they won 3-2 in a shootout:
In 2017 the Maple Leafs played outdoors at BMO Field in Toronto to celebrate the NHL’s centennial, defeating the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 in overtime.
In their most recent trip outdoors, they would travel to the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland to lose 5-2 to the Washington Capitals:
Hamilton has also seen some outdoor games in it’s past; the Toronto Marlies and (then AHL) Hamilton Bulldogs played an outdoor game at the pre-renovation Ivor Wynne Stadium. The Marlies would defeat the Bulldogs 7-2:
During the cancelled NHL season in 2005 a group of NHL players and alumni staged a charity game in the stadium, named “Our Game to Give”.
Rain doesn't halt outdoor charity game | CBC Sports
We’ll keep everyone up to date as details come out about this game, but you couldn’t ask for a better location for a game against the Sabres. that location? Not Buffalo.
Would you attend an outdoor game?
|No, it’ll be way too overpriced.||61|
|No, they’re never a great game to watch.||46|
|Yes, i love the Maple Leafs and would watch them anywhere.||62|
|Yes, it’s a fun event to game to check out even if the ice is bad and view is worse.||96|