The NHL has announced that Levi's Stadium, the brand-new home of the San Francisco 49ers, will play host to the second ever NHL outdoor game in California, pitting the San Jose Sharks against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings on February 21, 2015.
The Kings took part in the Stadium Series last season, but were shut out 3-0 by the Anaheim Ducks in front of 54,099 fans at Dodger Stadium.
The game between the Sharks and Kings is yet another schedule highlight between the two rivals, as the Kings will raise their cup banner in their home opener against the Sharks in October.
The Sharks are likely to be extra motivated to wreck both big nights for the Kings after blowing a 3-0 series lead in the first round of last year's playoffs, which should guarantee an escalation in the rivalry. Then again, the Sharks haven't exactly done much to change their fate this offseason.
Tickets for the game will be on sale for season ticket holders of the teams beginning at 10 a.m. on August 7, 2014, available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Ticket information for the general public will be announced at a later date.
Considering that Levi's Stadium is considerably larger than Dodger Stadium, and that the Sharks are historically a more popular team than the Ducks, this is likely to be the biggest game in California hockey history. NHLPA director Don Fehr and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman were both effusive in their praise for the quality of hockey provided by California's teams, something that has become a consistent storyline in recent years.
Last season the Stadium Series set viewership records in several markets in both the USA and Canada, and the top six most watched hockey games in the USA in the last 39 years are all outdoor games.