With the NHL lockout sending the 2013 Winter Classic to the chopping block, the league announced Friday that the 2014 Winter Classic will be played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. The Detroit Red Wings will face the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The next NHL Winter Classic – featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs – and Hockeytown Winter Festival will take place at the University of Michigan and Comerica Park, respectively. Those who have purchased tickets for the 2012-13 events can either receive refunds or maintain their tickets for the future events.
The Red Wings and Maple Leafs were scheduled to play at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2013. But with no Collective Bargaining Agreement in place between the NHL and NHL Players' Association, the league was forced to cancel this season's event and the Hockeytown Winter Festival. The league said that it is not in a position to do all that is required to stage such large events:
"The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today's decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time," said NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly. "We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events."
The lockout began on Sept. 15 and has resulted in the cancellation of 326 regular-season games, so far.