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Blog Entry

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:39 am
Edited on: February 9, 2012 3:26 pm
 

By Brian Stubits

The NHL made it all officially official on Thursday in Detroit. The Winter Classic will be held at the Big House in Ann Arbor against the Maple Leafs and Red Wings next New Year's Day.

"It's Hockeytown against the center of the hockey universe" Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke joked at the news conference.

It had been in the works for a while. The talk of the press box at the Winter Classic in Philly just over a month ago was that Detroit was going to be hosting the game. Since then everything has come into focus and the NHL just clarified (and confirmed) it all.

Commissioner Gary Bettman said that there will be about 115,000 tickets available for the game, and assuming they sell them all (they will) it will break the record for a hockey audience, also achieved at Michigan Stadium when University of Michigan played Michigan State.

"I'm all pshyced, I want to get my skates!" Red Wings owner Mike Illitch said. "But I can't skate."

In addition to the big game, downtown Detroit will be hosting events all week with the Hockeytown Winter Festival including the Alumni Game at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. The rink in Detroit will be very busy as college and OHL games will also be held there.

In making the announcement, Bettman estimated that the events in Detroit itself will bring 150,000-200,000 fans to the city for all the events.

It will prove to be the busiest Winter Classic held to date, hands down. Not only will there be significantly more action on the rinks, but there will be two rinks at two stadiums. That will be a lot of work. But the good news is that nothing should affect the ice for the NHL game as Ann Arbor will only host the main event.

Personally, I think it's a fantastic idea, even if it will make life a little tough on the behind-the-scenes people and those covering the events, shuffling back and forth between the cities.

Hockeytown hosting the best week of outdoor hockey? Yes, please!

More from Eye on Hockey

Ranking the Winter Classic venues
Alumni Game possibilities

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Comments

Since: Aug 16, 2006
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:59 am
 

Next 5 Winter Classics

2014  Bruins vs Capitals - Fedex Field

2015  Penguins vs Bluejackets - The Horseshoe Ohio State

2016  Rangers vs Devils - Metlife Stadium

2017  Sabres vs Mapleleafs - Skydome


2018  Flyers vs Penguins - Beaver Stadium




Since: Jan 4, 2012
Posted on: February 12, 2012 10:35 am
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

I lived in Los Angeles for 20 years and loved going to the Kings games and enjoying the sea of red.

Go Wings. 



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 12:23 am
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

have any of you seen Toronto play a road game?? check out the crowd, you wont see more visiting jerseys in other game not involving Toronto.
you obviously don't follow the wings much.  some of the wings road games look like home games with all the red wing jerseys in the crowd.  and unlike Toronto -- the Red Wings have actually been relevant in the last couple decades.
You can add the Flyers to that list. 

One of the few teams I would venture that if they went overseas, they would still gather a strong contingent of orange and black jerseys in the stands.


bigbangtheory17
Since: Jan 27, 2012
Posted on: February 10, 2012 10:38 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 10, 2012 9:06 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House



Yeah moron I'm from Mars.

What other teams do the Toronto fans have to root for,also it has been 45 years since they last won the Stanley cup.So outside of Toronto who cares about the Leafs




Big Puff 17, I call you a putz cause you insult mike,  and then you again show your a Ass Clown.   Every board you go to you insult sports fans with your ignorance,  take your Florida, New York monkey Ass home.  Detroit/Toronto both are true hockey cities,  and I am sure you will find some way to make a dumb ass comment about that.  




Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:48 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

should be a lot of fun,there be tons of CAnadians frm coast to coast attend this game...i bet haLF THE CROWD we'll be canadian ...we'll be flying down frm manitoba!



Since: Jan 13, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:56 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

you obviously don't follow the wings much.  some of the wings road games look like home games with all the red wing jerseys in the crowd.  and unlike Toronto -- the Red Wings have actually been relevant in the last couple decades.
A little perspective ...

The Detroit Red Wings and their 11 Stanley Cups (the last in 2008) playing The Toronto Maple Leafs and their 13 Stanley Cups (the last in 1967) at the Big House where The University of Michigan has won 9 NCAA Hockey championships.

Sounds like a win win win deal to me! GO WINGS - GO BLUE!



Since: May 30, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:54 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

I just read my previous post and can't believe that I forgot Boston played Philly in Fenway last year. Oh well, still love to see the Habs play the Bruins outdoors but it will probably take longer now!!




Since: May 30, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:48 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

I love the game being played in Ann Arbor and it will be great to see the Red Wings play the Leafs. Should be a great game as long as the Leafs are in a positive streak. Just never know with that team! I can't wait until they get Burke on HBO's 24/7, that guy is going to eat it up. He'll probably replace Wilson as coach for the month just to get the TV exposure!

The game I'd love to see is Boston vs Montreal but I don't think they'd broadcast it from the Olympic Stadium in Montreal and with the Patriots always seeming to make the post-season, where would they play it? Fenway is too small, what kind of stadium does Boston College have? This is the greatest rivalry in pro sports bar none and it would be great to see it on a stage like the Winter Classic! I know it's going to happen, just when and where is the question.



Since: Nov 19, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:33 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

St. Paul, Hockeytown USA?  agreed



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