Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Rangers-Flyers Will Headline 2012 Winter Classic in Philly
The New York Post is reporting what has been rumored for a while now - the Rangers and Flyers will face each other in next year's Winter Classic from Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Jan. 2, 2012. The NHL will confirm the announcement once the 2011-2012 team schedules are released, which is rumored to be sometime this week
Even though I think all Rangers fans would've preferred this game to be in New York, the most likely destination was Yankee Stadium and that wasn't going to be possible. The Yankees have already committed to hosting a series of college football bowl games in December and January for the next several years, and it looks like the NHL waited too long to really consider doing a game at Yankee Stadium. The only other likely destination would've been Citi Field, but I haven't read anything about the NHL having much interest in doing a game there.
The Winter Classic will be held on Monday, Jan. 2 for the first time in history this year because Jan. 1 will be the final Sunday of the NFL schedule this season. It's somewhat of a smart move because now the Winter Classic will be the main attraction on Jan. 2 with the exception of a few lower-tier college football bowl games, but the NHL may also lose viewers since a lot of people go back to work and school that Monday.
I'm already looking forward to HBO's 24/7 documentary series this year. A behind-the-scenes look at interactions between John Tortorella and Sean Avery, amongst others, has the potential to be fantastic.