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Minor league hockey team plans to play its home games outdoors this season

Sean Leahy
Puck Daddy

Vic Christopher / Timesunion.com

If you're in the crowd of people who believe the idea of playing outdoor hockey games is overdone, you're not going to like what the Williamsport Outlaws of the Federal Hockey League have planned for the 2012-13 season.

Having just relocated from New Jersey to Williamsport, the Outlaws are currently without a rink and needed somewhere to play their home schedule. While local officials are working out those details, the Outlaws announced on Tuesday that they plan to play their entire 30-game home schedule outside at Historic Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport CrossCutters, a New York-Penn minor league baseball team.

From WNEP16:

Williamsport's city council still has to approve the lease with the new hockey team that won the league championship last year in New Jersey.

The Outlaws' coach says the team hopes to get about 2,000 fans per game.

If you are wondering if there is a chance warm weather or rain and snow could postpone outdoor hockey games.

The answer from officials is yes but they said they are prepared to deal with whatever comes late Fall, early Winter.

From when their season kicks off on Oct. 24 until their final home game on Jan. 21 (Williamsport ends their season with a 15-game road trip), the Outlaws will rent the rink at Bowman Field, which is owned by the city. No word on what happens should the team qualify for the FHL playoffs to defend their title. Public skating will take place when the rink isn't in use by the team, according to WNEP.

The rink will reportedly cost the Outlaws between $200,000-$225,000 to build and operate, $15,000 to rent the field from the city and between $12,000-$15,000 to fix the infield once the season is over. The team will need to average around 2,000 fans per game in order to make the venture economically feasible. The possibility also exists of renting the rink out to local high school and college teams to help off-set costs.

Meanwhile, the Crosscutters aren't too happy having to share their facility with another team and have filed a Right to Know request to get all the details of the agreement between the Outlaws and the city.

Photo via Timesunion.com

Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy

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