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: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:25 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

If there is a college bowl game on the Michigan fans will want to get their  back and they will just pop them up on Ebay or Stub hub. Leafs fans will be more than happy to snatch them up. 

I'm really curious to see how fast this thing sells out and what tickets go for on Stubhub and Ebay, especially Stubhub though. 

Personally depending on when they go on sale and how we get access to these tickets, I'm tempted to buy a few of them.

I'm not missing this game, I'll say that much for sure.  But I wouldn't mind making a few extra bucks if I can long the way :)

Man oh man do I miss the old Toronto-Detroit rivalry.  The league screwed that up...... 


TalllCatherine
Since: Feb 9, 2012
Posted on: February 9, 2012 9:17 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Dec 21, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:49 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

At first, I think I was like a lot of people from Southeast Michigan that prefered the game in Detroit.  But how they're doing it, with all the extra stuff (alumni Game and college games) in Detroit, it should actually be pretty awesome.  The most amazing thing of all:  Between Redwing fans and Maple Leaf fans, it would sell out, even if it was a 200,000 seat stadium.



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:41 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

I've been to Toronto 40 or 50 times in my life and been to hockey games as well. Paid through the nose through scalpers but I've been to games. They are a great hockey city, but I'd still love to see what would happen if it was up to fans to invest in the team.

Toronto Maple Leaf tickets for the most part are purchased by corporations, they have by far the most corporate sponsors in hockey today, it's not even close.

Like I said, it's a great hockey city.... but hockey in Canada and in a few U.S cities is pretty massive as well.

Yeah it's kind of sad. The "Real" Leaf fans are usually stuck at the bars watching the games or up in the nose bleeds. To be honest I'd rather watch a game at the bar with the real fans than at the ACC. It's nice to go to a game once in a while but I'd rather be with the real fans. I've been to more games in Montreal and Ottawa over the last 5 years than games in Toronto.



Since: May 23, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 8:39 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Umm... no it won't. I would not be surprised if there were more Leafs fans than Red Wings fans. There are literally tens of thousands of Leafs fans who may never get to go to a Leafs home game. There will be tons of fans chomping to get these tickets!

Assuming I can get a ticket, I'll be there!

Exactly. The Leafs fans alone would sell this thing out if we were allowed to. Brian Burke said today he hopes they give us 60, 000 tickets to sell.

If there is a college bowl game on the Michigan fans will want to get their money back and they will just pop them up on Ebay or Stub hub. Leafs fans will be more than happy to snatch them up.

I just heard Detroit is already sold out of hotel rooms for the New Years Eve night. Pretty impressive. I didn't get a chance to stay in Detroit so I'll be in Windsor.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:54 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Name one city that is a bigger hockey city then Toronto? 

I've been to Toronto 40 or 50 times in my life and been to hockey games as well.  Paid through the nose through scalpers but I've been to games.  They are a great hockey city, but I'd still love to see what would happen if it was up to fans to invest in the team. 

Toronto Maple Leaf tickets for the most part are purchased by corporations, they have by far the most corporate sponsors in hockey today, it's not even close.  

Like I said, it's a great hockey city.... but hockey in Canada and in a few U.S cities is pretty massive as well.  



Since: Apr 23, 2010
Posted on: February 9, 2012 7:28 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

The Hockey game would be at 12:00 or 1:00 PM.  If Michigan or Michigan State are in the Rose Bowl, or if both are playing in New Years Bowl games, this could affect attendance some,
Umm... no it won't. I would not be surprised if there were more Leafs fans than Red Wings fans. There are literally tens of thousands of Leafs fans who may never get to go to a Leafs home game. There will be tons of fans chomping to get these tickets!

Assuming I can get a ticket, I'll be there! 



Since: Oct 27, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:53 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

The Hockey game would be at 12:00 or 1:00 PM.  If Michigan or Michigan State are in the Rose Bowl, or if both are playing in New Years Bowl games, this could affect attendance some, but the Rose Bowl does not kickoff until near 5:00 PM EST.  Red Wing and Maple Leaf fans are fanatics and not necessarily College Football fans.  I would suspect they will have no problem getting over 100,000 for this game.



Since: Oct 1, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:43 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Coming from a MUSH head that coment blows. When was the last time the little leafs won anything. They couldn't even hold my kids jock strap.



Since: Aug 30, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:34 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Now all we have to get is these teams in the same division, or at least the same conference.


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