Winter Classic 2013
February 12, 2012 by staff
Winter Classic 2013, If all goes according to the National Hockey League’s plan, the 2013 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium will shatter the all-time attendance record for a hockey game.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, who announced the event Thursday during a news conference at Comerica Park, said the league plans to put 115,000 tickets on sale and doesn’t anticipate any problem selling them all for the Jan. 1 game.
“We knew the enormity that this game would create outdoors and we don’t think we’re going to have enough tickets to satisfy the demand at The Big House,” Bettman said.
That said, there are some people who think the game should have been played at Comerica Park since the Red Wings are based in Detroit, not Ann Arbor, even though capacity at the home of the Detroit Tigers isn’t even half of what The Big House can hold.
Comerica Park seats more than 40,000 for baseball while Michigan Stadium has approximately 110,000 seats.
The decision on where to hold the game wasn’t made by the Red Wings or owner Mike Ilitch. That call was made by the NHL.
Ilitch said his first choice was to hold the game at Comerica Park until he considered the economic impact a crowd of 115,000 would have for southeastern Michigan.
To appease Ilitch, however, the NHL agreed to make the Winter Classic part of a week-long series of events, most of which will be held at Comerica Park.
Those will include an AHL game between the top farm teams of the Red Wings and Maple Leafs; two OHL games; an alumni game; youth games; and open skating for the public.
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