The 2014 Winter Classic will be a “home game” for the Detroit Red Wings. They’ll take on the Toronto Maple Leafs, the most valuable franchise in all of hockey in an all original six showdown. It will be held at Michigan Stadium, home of UM Wolverines college football.
Like I wrote around the New Year, the Wings are the natural next host for the event, and THE BIG HOUSE would is the best venue for the next event. The Detroit Lions’ home stadium, Ford Field, is a dome and thus ineligible to host the game. Michigan Stadium previously hosted The Big Chill at the Big House vs. Michigan State and it is the current world record holder for attendance (104, 173) at a hockey game. The 2014 Winter Classic on New Year’s Day marks the first time a stadium dedicated solely to college football has hosted the Winter Classic. All five previous events were held at MLB and NFL stadiums.
The 2014 Winter Classic is also the first time an American team and a Canadian team have faced each other in an outdoor NHL game. Prior to this, the Winter Classic was reserved for American teams and the Heritage Classic for Canadian ones.
2014 Winter Classic SPREAD: N/A
2014 Winter Classic TV: Wednesday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET on NBC. In addition, NBCSN will present coverage of the Maple Leafs-Red Wings Alumni Games on New Year’s Eve.
‘Doc’ Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the Winter Classic call rink-side. It will be the first time a full broadcast team has called an NHL regular-season game at ice level in television history.
I’ll have much more on the 2014 Winter Classic on Tuesday morning, perhaps Monday night, as I’ll be on the 2014 Winter Classic media conference call with the three dudes who will be calling the 2014 Winter Classic.
Brutally honest record: 77-34
Brutally honest pick: Red Wings 3, Maple Leafs 1
I’ll also be expanding and updating this 2014 Winter Classic post later.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. He’s also an analyst for multiple news talk radio stations across the country; with regular weekly segments on NBC and Fox Sports Radio. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and RSS Catch him Tuesdays talking Illini and Northwestern for KOZN 1620 The Zone, Fridays talking Chicago Bulls and Bears for WAOR 95.7 The FanFollow paulmbanks