CHL heading outdoors: Ottawa 67’s to host Gatineau in outdoor game

Fireworks explode over TD Place following the end of the CFL match at TD Place in Ottawa on Friday, July 18, 2014. The Grey Cup is still a month away but organizers say the game is sold out. (Justin Tang/CP)

OTTAWA — The Canadian Hockey League is taking the game outdoors.

The OHL’s Ottawa 67’s will host the QMJHL’s Gatineau Olympiques in an outdoor game at The Stadium at TD Place on Dec. 17, the 67’s and the CHL announced Wednesday.

The 24,000-seat stadium is normally home to the Canadian Football League’s Ottawa Redblacks.

"This is a great day for hockey fans and families in the Ottawa/Gatineau region," Canadian Hockey League vice-president Gilles Courteau said in a statement. "To experience an outdoor game in a major stadium at junior hockey prices is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."

The NHL, which is staging an outdoor game between the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators on Dec. 16, is providing the stadium ice surface, rink boards and other equipment.

The outdoor junior hockey game will be the first of its kind in Ontario. Two other outdoor games involving OHL teams were played in Detroit in 2013, featuring the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit, and the London Knights versus the Plymouth Whalers. The second game set a CHL attendance record of 26,384 fans.