Levi's Stadium

Tortora: seating capacity and sight lines gave Levi’s an edge over AT&T for Sharks outdoor game

Levi's Stadium Sharks Kings

Not that it was any huge surprise given the info leak over the weekend, but the official date-time-venue for the Sharks-Kings 2015 outdoor game was announced Wednesday morning.

But you have to admit, it would have been funny as all get out if the date or venue changed after Ticketmaster’s blunder.

This edition of the 2015 Coors Light Stadium Series will in fact take place on Saturday, February 21 at the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

In a conference call with the media Wednesday morning, Sharks COO John Tortora said the team is “very ecstatic, honored … humbled” at the news of being awarded the opportunity to host a game in the NHL’s upcoming outdoor series, boasting that it will be “one of the bigger sporting events the Bay Area has ever seen.”

The effort to get an outdoor game in Northern California has been in the works since last summer, Tortora said. The NHL was hesitant to conduct an outdoor game in a “warm weather market,” but that the success of last season’s Kings-Ducks tilt down at Chavez Ravine in LA made the Sharks “more hopeful” that they were in the running for a Stadium Series bid.

Of course the announcement that the game being held at the new home of the 49ers brought along its fair share of squawking from fans and enthusiasts who wanted to see the game held at AT&T Park. Understandable, given how gorgeous the Giants home base is.

Tortora explained that “ultimately the decision lies with the NHL,” but that the football stadium’s “better sight lines” and “larger capacity” (Levi’s holds 25,000+ more seats and almost 100 more luxury suites) led to the final decision. Supposedly hosting the game in a larger venue with more seats also means lower ticket prices. Read into that what you will: cost of seats range from $65 to $350 a pop.

And while the COO wouldn’t put a number on how many Kings fans he expected to be present at the game — stating that he expected it to be “mostly Sharks fans” in the stands — it wouldn’t be surprising if a heavy contingent carpools up from LA for this NorCal-SoCal rivalry match.

Tickets for the February fete are reported to go on pre-sale for Sharks season ticket holders and Levi’s Stadium SBL members on Thursday, August 7 at 10 am.

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