ANN ARBOR MI - DECEMBER 11: Michigan State Spartans and the Michigan Wolverines battle during second period of the Big Chill game at Michigan Stadium on December 11 2010 in Ann Arbor Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
According to a report, the Red Wings are set to host the NHL Winter Classic in the next two seasons. The game could be played at Comerica Park or Michigan Stadium.
Ever since the 2009 NHL Winter Classic took place in Chicago involving the Red Wings and Blackhawks, there has been a lot of talk about when Detroit will get an outdoor game of its own. Every year the Red Wings are seemingly mentioned as one of the favorites to play host to a Winter Classic, but so far the NHL has yet to award the annual event to them. However, that could change in the next two seasons, according to MLive's Ansar Khan.
The Detroit Red Wings are in deep discussions with the NHL about hosting an outdoor game within the next two seasons.
MLive.com has learned the Red Wings expect to host the annual Winter Classic either next season or in 2013-14.
Khan reports that the Red Wings' preference is to play their Winter Classic at Comerica Park. This isn't too surprising considering Comerica Park is the home of the Mike Ilitch-owned Tigers. He would probably rather stage the game in his own venue rather than Michigan Stadium, which is also apparently an option for the game.
The Big Chill at the Big House, a hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State, was played at Michigan Stadium last year and drew a crowd of more than 113,000 people. A matchup between the Red Wings and, say, the Blackhawks could probably draw more than 100,000 fans, and I'm sure the NHL would prefer to go with the bigger crowd. Also, as someone who attended the game, I can confidently say that the sight lines for a hockey game are much better at Michigan Stadium than a baseball stadium like Comerica Park, so I'm hoping the NHL goes with the Big House.
As for when specifically the Red Wings will actually be awarded the Winter Classic, Khan's timetable is the next two seasons. Considering he mentions that New York is also "in line" to host a Winter Classic, chances are the Red Wings will be the host next season. The Rangers are playing in this season's game, and it's unlikely they would be involved in it two years in a row.