Blog Entry

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:21 am
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By Brian Stubits

Before the Winter Classic was finished in Philadelphia on Monday, the speculation was running in the press box of Citizen's Bank Park: Where will the next Winter Classic be?

After the game, Gary Bettman said the NHL had not put together a short list but judging from past Winter Classics -- i.e. temperature, time zone, TV draw -- you can get an idea of where they might look to.

One of those places, it was assumed, was Washington D.C. It has been out there that Capitals owner Ted Leonsis was essentially promised a winter event coming to D.C. in the near future so many speculated it would be next year. Speculation over: it's not happening.

In his personal blog, Leonsis addressed the matter on Tuesday, also talking about the possibility of a game being played on the National Mall, the strip of landmarks that stretches from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial with the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial and Reflecting Pool in between.

So – to set the record straight – there has NOT been any communication to us on a formal basis as to a Winter Classic coming to DC in a specific year. I have been told that the Winter Classic will NOT be coming to DC next year though. I have also been assured that because of the size of our fan base – and the beauty of our city – that a Winter Classic would come to Washington DC; at some point in the future. And that is good enough for me.

Also– the idea of a game being played on the Mall has been floated around for many years – it is NOT feasible; there aren’t enough common areas to build out seats – and the expense involved to create locker rooms; icestands and studios are prohibitive. The Mall is managed by the National Park Services; as well.

I am sure that one day – when a Winter Classic does come to DC; we will be creative and have fun and put on a great show. There are great venues for us to utilize and great theatre that we can create for NHL fans and our large fan base here in the DMV.

I guess that takes care of that one, now doesn't it? The D.C. Classic will have to wait longer but there is still a definite vibe it will happen. It's just too bad the Mall can't be done, that would make for an unbeatable setting.

The rumor that was picking up steam before Leonsis' posting was that Detroit is the favorite to host the next game, a good bet to be sure. There is even some talk being thrown out there that the Toronto Maple Leafs could be the opponent, a somewhat surprising idea since the Winter Classic has shown to be an American event designed to draw interest in the USA and garner ratings. Personally, I never thought having a big-market Canadian team would hurt but it didn't seem to appeal to the NHL.

Could they host it at the Big House, the University of Michigan's football stadium? Of course they could, the stadium has held more than 100,000 people in the past for a hockey game. However, don't forget that Red Wings owner Mike Illitch also owns the Detroit Tigers and he'd have a lot of say in the event being played at one of his team's venues, Comerica Park.

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments

Since: Jul 20, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 2:04 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

It's been mentoined on NHL network along with NBC that the Winter Classic will be in Detroit next yr 2013.It only makes sense to have it in Detroit 1)Fan base is through the roof in Michigan/Windsor 2)Original 6,do i need to say more! 3)Closest U.S. Border to Canada to host a gm-so playin' Toronto is a no-brainer 4)With the 2 countries represented & the proximity of a Comerica Park venue,it only makes sense & 5)The NHL would be in a win-win situation if they had Detroit vs.Toronto,the alumni game could bring out some stars still missed---Stevie Y,Mats Sundin,Wendell Clark,Tie Domi,Brett Hull,Brendan Shanahan,Felix Potvin,Chris Osgood,Chris Chelios,Mike Gartner,Joey Kocur....& a whole lot more that i've missed.Hell the Alumni gm would be just as anticipated,than the regular season game!NHL you better wake up & do this one for the Canadian & American fans.



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:43 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

The Winter Classic doesn't necessarily have to exclude Canadian teams, but I do believe it should exclude Canadian venues. The thought of an American team vs. a Canadian team could be quite a storyline in the making for NBC. Remember the gold medal game in 2010? Denver would be an awesome setting if the weather cooperates and why not mention LA (lots of big name players) in the conversation as the road team? Big market for television?  Minnesota could be another guaranteed cold setting, I mean when you think hockey in the US you think Minnesota!



Since: May 7, 2009
Posted on: January 4, 2012 1:40 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

The Winter Classic doesn't necessarily have to exclude Canadian teams, but I do believe it should exclude Canadian venues. The thought of an American team vs. a Canadian team could be quite a storyline in the making for NBC. Remember the gold medal game in 2010? Denver would be an awesome setting if the weather cooperates and why not mention LA (lots of big name players) in the conversation as the road team? Big market for television?  Minnesota could be another guaranteed cold setting, I mean when you think hockey in the US you think Minnesota!



Since: Jun 7, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2012 10:09 am
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

I would love to see Boston at Detriot two original six teams that are very deep. This is just my opinion.



Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: January 4, 2012 9:05 am
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

yarddog59-It might be in the 60's today but on Jan 1st it was in the low 30's and that is allot colder then it's been at the last two Winter Classic. Beside the average Denver temp for Jan 1 is high of 31 and the low 10.

Denver should get the game and this is coming from a Bruins Fan.



Since: Jan 29, 2007
Posted on: January 4, 2012 8:12 am
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

I honestly don't think that Denver would be a viable option. The weather there is far too unpredictable, with temperatures moving into the 60's on any given day throughout the winter months. It's going to be 65 there tomorrow.



Since: Mar 1, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 11:30 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

I would love to see an outdoor game in Detroit.  However, I think the NHL could help itself by having more venues per year.  If more cities want to do it they should.  This is bringing more attention to the NHL.  For years I have been trying to figure out why people pass on hockey to watch the NBA.  I think since the NHL had its strike, they lost a lot of momentum in the lost season of 2005.  It can gain some of that back with the NBA lockout this year, and NBC/Versus concentrating on hockey.  I was hoping the NBA lockout would last a little longer so more people might take notice of a different sport.  Whatever brings attention and coverage to a superior sport and its athletes should be done. 



Since: Jun 19, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 10:07 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

Okay so what part of this discussion did we miss the fact is this the way the NHL and NBC have made the agreement no Canadain teams will be part of the Winter Classic because they are going to be doing the Heritage Clasic every other year.

Also they(NHL) want to use Pro Parks to have the event in. I could see the game in NYC but not at Yankee Stadium but at Shea instead. As for the comment about not a big fan base in Denver really I'm sure if they put the Winter Classic at Coors it will be a sell out.



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 9:46 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

The next time the Flyers are in the Winter Classic, the Penguins should be too.  Why?  Because it woud be an epic draw. 

Where would they have this most epic of Winter Classic games?  Beaver Stadium. 



Since: Dec 31, 2006
Posted on: January 3, 2012 7:52 pm
 

Caps owner: Winter Classic won't be D.C.'s in '13

Having the Winter Classic in Washington, DC, doesn't make much sense, from the standpoint of weather...Boston, Chicago, Detroit, New York and Philadelphia make for great venues...I'd assume Denver would, too, if the weather cooperates out there...And though the Winter Classic is geared toward US-based teams, I'd think that Toronto would make a suitable host as well...The Argonauts and Blue Jays won't be using Rogers Centre in January...


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