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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: Nov 2, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 6:26 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

If Michigan makes the Rose Bowl, a lot of people will be staying at home watching that game instead of watching hockey.




Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:58 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

The Stadium is big but it's a dump,they could have picked a much better place but none the less it will be fun to watch.


ALFIwantsout
Since: Sep 28, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:25 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: May 3, 2011
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:25 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

They should do 3 or 4 of these....one on Christmas Eve, one on Christmas Day, and a double header on New Years Day.

Cmon Bettman, milk this cash cow!!!!!!!



Since: Nov 3, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:11 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Big question - why the Wings AGAIN!  they just played...Spread the wealth around...
what do you mean they just played...there have been 3 games since their WC. 



Since: Dec 16, 2009
Posted on: February 9, 2012 5:08 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Its nuts. Downtown Detroit and Ann Arbor already booked solid on hotels. And a great job by Mr. Ilitch, as always, to put together such an incredible experience leading up to the game. There's so much that will be happening. It's gonna be awesome! I'm really looking forward to the AHL, OHL and college games that will be at Comerica Park too.



Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:54 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Welcome all Torontonians!!!!  (Though you're going down down down!!!)

Hotels in Ann Arbor are already sold-out!!  Better bet are some of the nicer hotels and casinos in Downtown Detroit.  Two very different venues - but BOTH will be very fun, no matter who wins!! 

I can't wait for "Go Leafs Go!" v. "Let's Go Red Wings!" with 115,000+ in that stadium!!!!

Awesome........

 




Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:43 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Toronto may be the so-called "Center of the Hockey Universe",  but try making the playoffs once a decade or so.  RW in playoffs 20 years straight, and 4 CUPS since Leafs last one!




Since: Jun 10, 2008
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:39 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

Yeah Detroit AGAIN!  What do YOU want, the Classic in the cesspool Buffalo?



Since: Oct 6, 2006
Posted on: February 9, 2012 4:24 pm
 

NHL announces Winter Classic to be at Big House

This works.  About time one of the Original Six Canadian teams was involved, and I think the sight lines are much better in a football stadium.  The first one in Buffalo was terrific.


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