Just as originally planned for this year before the lockout led to its cancellation, Ann Arbor's Michigan Stadium will host the 2014 Winter Classic on New Year's Day. (Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
By Allan Muir
Alright, no real surprise here. The league finally got around to confirming this morning that the 2014 NHL Winter Classic will be exactly where the 2013 NHL Winter Classic was supposed to be, except this time it will, you know, actually take place.
So we'll have the Red Wings taking on the Maple Leafs at the Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich. on New Year's Day for what looks to be the biggest game in NHL history. Certainly the biggest in terms of attendance, and probably in terms of hype as well.
Along with the 104,000-plus expected to be on hand for the big game, more than 250,000 could attend ancillary events at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit. The Hockeytown Winter Festival, slated to start in mid-December, will see the infield of the Detroit Tigers' ballpark transformed into a hockey rink for a series of events including AHL, NCAA and OHL regular season games, public skating events, and two contests featuring Red Wings and Maple Leafs alumni on New Year's Eve.
Nick Cotsonika was on hand at this morning's press conference and posted these pictures of the jerseys on Twitter:
What do you think? Me, I love the "Will Arnett-designed" Leafs sweater, but I'm not sold on the Wings. A little too busy for my taste, but I'm sure that won't stop them from selling a gajillion of them.
Here's a look at the alumni sweaters:
Both of those are pretty sharp, right? The Wings jersey has a little more of a special event feel, but Darryl Sittler looks comfortable in that classic late-70s look, doesn't he?
More good news: SportsNet purchased the rights to HBO's 24/7 series, ensuring it will be broadcast simultaneously in Canada and the United States.