When NHL owners attended the Coachella music festival in April and saw the Tupac Shakur hologram, a light bulb popped up over all 30 of their heads.
“It was just so simple,” said New York Rangers CEO James Dolan. “If we’re able to make a hologram of Tupac perform on stage, surely we could make holograms of other celebrities play hockey. Like, say, Elvis. If we could have Elvis on the ice, maybe we can sell some seats in Nashville, am I right?”
The new proposal contains an entire plan to superimpose digital hologram images of celebrities onto actual NHL players to make it look like the celebrities are the ones actually playing the game, which will hopefully boost ticket sales in markets that have suffered from low revenue. Some of the ideas for celebrities include putting a hologram of Bruce Springstein playing for the New Jersey Devils, Mickey Mouse play for the Anaheim Ducks, and Al Pacino as Scarface play for the Florida Panthers.
In addition to hologram celebrities, the NHL has proposed adding a “third assist” category to every goal scored, but which will only be credited to corporate advertisers, which will be represented by a hologram of the corporate mascot celebrating with the players on the ice after the goal. For example, when the New York Rangers score a goal, the Geico gecko will appear on the ice and tap his teammate’s heads.
“Makes sense to me,” Dolan said. “After all, the sponsors are the lifeblood of this league.”
Despite the avid support of the league for the implementation of holograms, several players have voiced concern over the proposal.
“What if they put a hologram of Diana Krall over me,” said Penguins superstar Sidney Crosby. “Then all the fans are gonna start singing ‘Cry Me a River’ and I’ll never hear the end of it and I will cry.”
Other players were warmer to the idea.
“I’d be cool with it if they put a hologram of my face over my goal mask,” said Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist. “I’ve been trying to do that for a while.”
The NHL and NHLPA are expected to vote over the proposal, using hundred dollar bills as ballots while being fanned by their own personal servants.