Red Wings To Play Outdoors on Jan. 1, But Not Winter Classic
The National Hockey League announced Wednesday the Detroit Red Wings will play the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 1st, 2017, but the game will be named the Centennial Classic.
The following day, Monday, January 2nd, will see the St. Louis Blues hosting the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in the now traditional Winter Classic.
On New Year's Day 2014, The Red Wings hosted the Maple Leafs at the Big House in Ann Arbor, in front of a record crowd of over 105,000. The game in Toronto will be the first outdoor hockey game to take place in a soccer stadium. BMO Place is being refurbished and will hold in excess of 30,000 for the upcoming game.
Former Red Wing and current Maple Leaf team president Brendan Shanahan was quoted on NHL.com as saying
"Obviously it's a little bit more intimate [than Ann Arbor]; we'll have about 35,000 people," Shanahan told NBC Sports Network. "It'll be a good mix between Toronto and Detroit fans. Both franchises are very proud franchises with passionate fans, so I expect it to be loud. There's going to be great sightlines, there's going to be a great atmosphere."
The Centennial Series is named after the NHL's 100 anniversary season in 2017.
Two other outdoor games were announced. The Philadelphia Flyers will play the Penguins at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and the Winnipeg Jets will host the Edmonton Oilers in the Heritage Classic.