Gary Bettman Has New Concern About Participating In 2026 Winter Olympics

Gary Bettman, the Commissioner of the NHL, has raised concerns regarding the readiness of the arena for the 2026 Winter Olympics scheduled to take place in Milan.

During the NHL's Board of Governors meetings, Bettman highlighted the significant delay in the commencement of construction on the PalaItalia, an essential venue for the Olympics.

This delay has become a potential roadblock for the NHL's participation in the Games, as the league is currently considering its return to the Olympics in 2026 after a long hiatus​.

Bettman's worries are not only about the construction timeline of the Olympic arena but also encompass "broader issues" related to the event.

There are unresolved concerns regarding family travel and player insurance, which are significant factors in the NHL's decision-making process about participating in the Olympics.

Despite these issues, the NHL and the NHL Players' Association appear to be nearing an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

However, Bettman's apprehension about Milan's capability to host the hockey competition, especially given that the construction of the arena has not yet started, casts doubt on the event's success​.

Furthermore, Bettman described the situation as "a matter of concern" and emphasized the importance of the players in this context.

The delay in constructing the arena, which is expected to be done by 2025, needed for the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan poses a significant challenge for Bettman, especially as the event aims to host hockey's first best-on-best competition in 14 years.

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