NHL rule change puts baby in Heritage Classic stands… without a ticket


William Anderson has scored his first goal in the National Hockey League — and he”s not even walking yet.

William, who is six months old, will be allowed to sit on his mother”s or father”s lap at Sunday afternoon”s outdoor Heritage Classic hockey game between the Jets and the Edmonton Oilers at Investors Group Field.

The NHL unexpectedly issued a statement Tuesday that said effective this Sunday, the league will follow the lead of the Jets and allow children under the age of two to enter Investors Group Field without a ticket, but they must sit on the lap of an adult. Older children require their own — paid — seat.

The issue came up last month when Winnipeggers Clifford Anderson and Shalyn Meady said they had already spent $800 on two seats and didn”t believe they should have to spend another $400 for a third their child couldn”t use because he”s not yet able to sit up by himself.

The Jets allow children under two years old into games without a ticket to sit on adult laps. The Blue Bombers extend the courtesy to people with children up to three years of age. The Heritage Classic, however, is run by the NHL — not the Jets — and had a different set of rules.

The NHL statement specifically notes that the policy change takes effect Sunday afternoon for the regular-season game. There was no mention of a change in admission rules for Saturday afternoon”s alumni game at the stadium featuring members of previous Jets and Oilers squads, including Dale Hawerchuk and Wayne Gretzky. Until last week, tickets were sold only in packages for both games. A small number of single seats are available for either game and can be purchased separately now.

The NHL said anybody who has already purchased a ticket for a child under two can get a refund the day of the game at the main box office before the puck is dropped.

The revised policy will apply for other special-event games, including the All-Star Game, NHL Stadium Series and future NHL Heritage Classics.


Read more by Kevin Rollason.