After decades of complaining by fans, the NHL has decided to make some drastic changes to their arenas across the U.S. and Canada: They are finally going to dye the ice black for better television viewing.
In a press release that was sent to news outlets this morning, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the change, which he says will “better suit the NHL viewers at home and in the stands.”
“As we all know as hockey fans, NHL games are fast-paced and often hard to follow. Generally there is a lot of movement happening very quickly, and really the only reaction time is when a team scores a goal.” Said Bettman in his statement. “Since sometimes full periods go by without any scoring, we really want to give the fans something to watch and be excited for. Reversing the colors of the ice and the puck will make it far, far easier to watch the games and follow along with the action.”
The changes will take effect for the 2015 NHL season, and some arenas are already beginning the change currently. What the new policies will put into place is the dying of the ice from the normal color, which is a foggy white or blueish-white, to straight black. The logos and lines on the ice will stay in their normal colors, and the pucks will change to white from black. This will make it infinitely easier for TV cameras to pick up the movement of the puck as it is slapped across the ice, making fans at home feel like they can actually follow along.
Players who were interviewed about the changes this afternoon were ambivalent with the changes, saying that as long as the ice is maintained to its current standards, they were okay with it. Even NHL legend Wayne Gretzky was quoted as saying he thought the change would be great.
“A lot of guys, they get knocked around so much out there, they’re losing vision, everything is blurry. This will certainly help improve the games not only for the fans, but the players, too!” Said Gretzky.
With any luck, if the idea of the dyed ice takes off, we can look forward to the “blacklight” games to be played the following year, during the 2016 season. Those games would be played under 70s-style black lights in all arenas, causing the entire ice, puck, and player jerseys to glow. So far, that idea is in planning stages, and will depend on how well the current changes work. No word on whether the arena would also be retrofitted with Black Sabbath or Bob Marley posters as well.