So, it was announced today that the 2013 NHL Winter Classic will be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, aka “The Big House.” Capacity 115,000. They say even that won’t be enough tickets for all the fans wanting to see this game. The two teams selected to play will be: for the first time, a Canadian Team, the Toronto Maple Leafs (grammar, Canada??) and for the second time, the Detroit Red Wings. Our blog reader Heather Wohlfiel Sopiak will be turning cartwheels. Apparently the Flyers, Penguins, and Red Wings think this is their tournament, and they just keep trading off who gets to play what year. Just kidding. Well, sort of. If one of my favorite teams was a repeater, I wouldn’t be bitching. But of course, they aren’t, so here I am. And yes, before you all pipe up, the idea of the Winter Classic in San Jose is ludicrous, I agree. But hey, there’s still NY. And then that would make me a repeater…..but I digress…..
The Maple Leafs are excited to be invited, since Canada hasn’t had an outdoor game of it’s own since the 2003 Heritage Classic in Edmonton. (blog reader Donna Lewis, did you go to that game?) Not that 90% of the NHL isn’t Canadian anyway, but so far the Winter Classic has kept it to American teams on American soil. If they decided to have the 2014 game in Edmonton, let’s hope it won’t be -22 degrees outside, like it was at the Heritage Classic. Um, brrr.
At any rate, it sounds like Hockey Town will be a great venue, with a week-long Winter Festival and bunch of games scheduled for Comerica Park in Detroit, leading up to The Classic out in Ann Arbor’s Big House. Heather, I hope the guest room is ready for me.