NHL awards Winter Classic 2009 to Chicago

TSN.ca Staff
7/16/2008 12:22:01 PM
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The NHL has award the 2009 Winter Classic to the Chicago Blackhawks, who will play host to the Detroit Red Wings on January 1, 2009 at Wrigley Field.

Wrigley Field was chosen over early favourite Yankee Stadium.

"We expect interest to be on an international level for this once-in-a-lifetime event," Blackhawks chairman Rocky Wirtz said.

Last season's Winter Classic between the Penguins and Sabres on January 1st drew an NHL record 71, 217 fans to Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo.

"The NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated.

The meeting between the two clubs will be the 701st all time. No NHL opponents has played more regular season games against each other.

The Red Wings are also looking forward to being a part of history, even if they are not the hosts.

"We've been a candidate to play in this for a long time and everybody in our organization is excited about being a part of what is becoming an annual outdoor classic," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "It's a tremendous opportunity to promote our game, our league and our team and have a one-in-a-lifetime experience at the same time."

Wrigley Field (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)


(Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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