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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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NHL to Play On Australian Ice for First Time

  • The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings will play the first NHL games ever in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • The preseason games will take place at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena in September.
Los Angeles Kings left wing Kevin Fiala skates with the puck against Arizona Coyotes center Barrett Hayton.
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL is headed Down Under.

Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena will play host to the 2023 NHL Global Series, which will see the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings face off in two preseason games on Sept. 23-24. The Australian NHL games will be the first ever played in the Southern Hemisphere.

“Nowhere does major events like Melbourne, and that’s why we are able to attract the biggest sporting spectacles from around the globe,” Victoria minister for tourism, sport and major events Steve Dimopoulos said. “Securing the NHL’s first-ever games in the Southern Hemisphere is not only a win for fans but will deliver big benefits for tourism businesses in our city.”

Rod Laver Arena annually hosts tennis’ Australian Open, and Melbourne Rectangular Stadium will be one of the venues for the FIFA Women’s World Cup this summer.

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This season, the NHL staged its first Global Series games since before the pandemic, playing a preseason game each in Switzerland and Germany, as well as two regular-season games apiece in Czechia and Finland.

This won’t be the first foray into games outside of North America for these teams.

The Kings have played nine international preseason and regular-season games in their history, most recently with two preseason contests in China in 2017.

The Coyotes have only gone global in 2010, when they played a preseason game in Latvia and two regular-season games in Czechia.

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