TAMPA, Fla. -- The House That Ruth Built may end up being The House That Jagr Closed.
The Yankees and the National Hockey League are continuing to work toward a deal that would permit the New York Rangers to play a 2008-09 regular-season game at Yankee Stadium next winter, the New York Daily News reported on Monday.
"It's something we've spoken both to the Yankees and to the city about," NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told the newspaper, "but it's not a done deal. There are still other possibilities and a lot of moving pieces."
"We have had discussions with the NHL and the city for some time now," Yankees spokesman Jason Zillo said. "To date, there is nothing etched in stone, one way or the other. The dialogue is open, but there is no conclusion to a game being played or not being played at Yankee Stadium."
The Yankees are prepared to bid farewell to Yankee Stadium in grand fashion, closing out the final season of the current facility by playing host to the All-Star Game in July as well as a bevy of other commemorative events.
With a $1.3 billion facility rising across the street and expected to be ready for Opening Day 2009, it appears that the final game played at Yankee Stadium may actually be hockey.
Outdoor games have already proven to be a draw for the NHL. The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins drew more than 71,000 to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo on Jan. 1.
Neither a date nor an opponent for the Rangers' potential Yankee Stadium game has been determined, the Daily News said.
Since officially opening its doors in April 1923, Yankee Stadium has hosted many events other than baseball, including championship fights, professional and college football, soccer, political assemblies, religious conventions, concerts and even circuses.
But it has never seen a hockey game. In past years the Yankees have been reluctant to embrace hockey at the stadium, because the playing surface could be damaged by the refrigeration pipes needed to build a temporary rink.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.