The 2014 Winter Classic is still a couple of days away but already focus is turning somewhat toward the 2015 game that will be hosted by the Washington Capitals..
When it was announced the Capitals would host the 2015 event, no site nor opponent was decided on at that point but the overwhelming favorite for a location was Nationals Park in South DC. That looks like as safe of a bet as ever.
NHL officials recently scouted three venues in the Washington area. Nationals Ballpark is most likely to host 2015 Winter Classic.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) December 30, 2013
Still not 100 percent but more than likely Winter Classic game in D.C. next year to be played at Nationals' ball park...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 30, 2013
No surprise there at all, it was definitely the most logical venue. In a dream world a rink could be built for the game on the National Mall but that's just not feasible and with Nats Park there is zero chance of any conflicts with the NFL and the Redskins' schedule as there might have been with FedEx Field.
There was also a push for Camden Yards some 40 miles up the road in Baltimore. While that would have provided perhaps the best vista, the desire to have the game actually within Washington is likely considered more important.
In case you're wondering what a Winter Classic at Nats Park would look like, @CapitalsHill envisioned it with the help of some photoshopping.
As far as the opponent goes, it has been reported that the decision is down to either the Philadelphia Flyers or the Boston Bruins with many believing it's already been decided that it will be the Flyers. That might not be good news for HBO's 24/7 as both teams have been in the Classic in the past few years and have already appeared on the show.