2023 NHL Winter Classic: Which Stadiums Will be the Favorites to Host the Outdoor Game in 2023? Which Teams Are Likely to Host the 2023 NHL Winter Classic?
Hello Everyone! Welcome to Sports Teller! Today, we will be going over the 2023 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates! Before we go over what those candidates are, we will be showcasing the upcoming outdoor games for the 2021-2022 NHL Season.
2024 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates Now Available! Without further adieu, let’s begin!
2023 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates
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Now that the NHL community knows the next Winter Classic for the 2021-2022 campaign, now is the time to look forward to 2023! But first, let’s take a look at the future NHL Outdoor Events!
Upcoming NHL Outdoor Events Scheduled!
Winter Classic 2022: The Minnesota Wild will host the 2022 NHL Winter Classic vs. St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Wild were supposed to host the Winter Classic in 2021, but was pushed back a year due to the global health crisis. The event will take place on New Year’s Day 2022.
All-Star Game 2022: The Vegas Golden Knights will be hosting the 2022 NHL All-Star Weekend at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Vegas will be hosting the mid-season event for the first time in team history. The event will take place in January 2022.
NHL Stadium Series 2022: The Nashville Predators will host the 2022 NHL Stadium Series vs. Tampa Bay Lightning at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. The Predators will be hosting for the first time, but also will be playing outdoors for the first time since the 2020 Winter Classic in Dallas. Meanwhile, the Lightning will be playing in an outdoor game for the first time in franchise history. The event will take place in February 2022.
Heritage Classic 2022: The Buffalo Sabres will be hosting the 2022 Heritage Classic vs. Toronto Maple Leafs at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton, Ontario. This will be the first ever Heritage Classic involving a U.S. team. Tim Hortons Field is the home of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The event will take place in March 2022.
Who Should Host the 2023 NHL Winter Classic?
Before we can get into the 2023 NHL Winter Classic, we must go over the NHL’s most recent outdoor events. First, the NHL Heritage Classic returned as the Winnipeg Jets beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 at Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan on October 26, 2019. The 2020 NHL Winter Classic took place at the Cotton Bowl in Texas, where the Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators 5-2. Then, the Colorado Avalanche hosted the NHL Stadium Series vs. the Los Angeles Kings on February 2020 at Falcon Stadium (home of Air Force) in Colorado Springs.
Now, let’s talk about which cities would be eligible for the 2023 NHL Winter Classic. Even though it’s less than a year from now, it’s never too early to discuss the candidates for the future event. Some cities might be good candidates for the 2023 outdoor game! For the 2023 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates, please refer to the information below:
2023 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates:
Stadiums Possibly in the Mix to Host 2023 NHL Winter Classic
Metlife Stadium-East Rutherford, New Jersey
- Home of the New York Giants/New York Jets NFL Teams
- Seating Capacity: Over 82,000
- Possible Match-Up: Rangers vs. Bruins
- According to Jonathan Slant (nj.com), the NHL might be looking into hosting a future Winter Classic in New Jersey. The last time any New York-based hockey team played in an outdoor game was the 2018 Winter Classic (Rangers vs. Sabres at Citi Field in Queens, NY).
Michie Stadium-West Point, New York
- Home of the Army Black Knights/U.S. Military Academy
- Seating Capacity: Over 38,000
- Possible Match-Up: Rangers vs. Islanders
- According to Elliotte Friedman (CBC) and Larry Brooks (New York Post), the NHL was looking into the possibility of hosting a future Winter Classic at Michie Stadium. The league also conducted a survey on the venue’s property.
Lambeau Field-Green Bay Wisconsin
- Home of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers
- Seating Capacity: Over 80,000
- Possible Match-Up: Blackhawks vs. Red Wings
- According to USA Today and Doug Schneider of Green Bay Press Gazette, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said that Lambeau Field has a possible chance of hosting a future outdoor event. In fact, Green Bay Packers spokesperson Aaron Popkey said that the team would be interested in hosting an NHL Outdoor game.
Stadiums Not to Rule Out to Host 2023 NHL Winter Classic
PNC Park-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Home of the MLB’s Pittsburgh Pirates
- Seating Capacity: Over 38,000
- Possible Match-Up: Penguins vs. Devils
- According to Jason Mackey (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), the NHL might be looking into hosting a future Winter Classic at the Pirates’ home ballpark. The last time the Penguins hosted the Winter Classic was in 2011 vs. Capitals. However, Pittsburgh has participated in two other outdoor events (NHL Stadium Series) in 2017 (vs. Flyers at Heinz Field) and in 2019 (vs. Flyers at Lincoln Financial Field).
Beaver Stadium-State College, Pennsylvania
- Home of the Penn State Nittany Lions Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 100,000
- Possible Match-Up: Penguins vs. Flyers
- According to Michael LoRe of Forbes, a Penn State University spokesman said that the college is looking to host unique experiences at Beaver Stadium other than Nittany Lions football. Beaver Stadium was under consideration to host an NHL outdoor game in 2017 between Penguins and Flyers at one point. However, the event took pace at Heinz Field (home of the NFL’s Steelers) instead. The reason for the league moving the game was due to financial concerns and facility circumstances involving Penn State’s football stadium. Maybe in 2023, things have changed regarding Beaver Stadium’s feasibility situation and the NHL starts to look into Beaver Stadium again.
Sun Devil Stadium-Tempe, Arizona
- Home of the Arizona State Sun Devils Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 50,000
- Possible Match-Up: Coyotes vs. Golden Knights
- According to Sebastian Emanuel of Cronkite News, Coyotes CEO/President Ahron Cohen wants and outdoor game. Cohen said during a July 2019 Town Hall that he and the franchise would be interested in hosting a future NHL outdoor game at Sun Devil Stadium. However, NHL Executive VP Steve Mayer said that Arizona’s warm climate could be a factor on deciding whether the game would take place in Tempe or not. The 2020 NHL Winter Classic took place in a warm weather state in Texas (Stars vs. Predators). In fact, the NHL Stadium Series held two events in warm-climate California like Santa Clara (Sharks vs. Kings) and Dodger Stadium in L.A. (Kings vs. Ducks). So there’s optimism that Arizona could host a future outdoor event one day!
Front-Runners to Host the 2023 NHL Winter Classic
Carter-Finley Stadium-Raleigh, North Carolina
- Home of the N.C. State Wolfpack Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 57,000
- Possible Match-Up: Hurricanes vs. Panthers
- Carter-Finley Stadium was supposed to host the 2021 NHL Stadium Series, but was postponed due to the global health crisis. However, it is possible that the Carolina Hurricanes could host a future outdoor game in the near future.
Ohio Stadium-Columbus, Ohio
- Home of the Ohio State Buckeyes Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 100,000
- Possible Match-Up: Blue Jackets vs. Red Wings
- According to Lansing Murphy of Fansided, Commissioner Gary Bettman said the league is starting to discuss about Columbus hosting a future NHL Winter Classic. Bettman also said that Columbus had a great fan turnout during the 2015 NHL All-Star Game. In fact, the Blue Jackets have been on a streak of postseason appearances. This includes the team’s upset vs. top-seed Lighting in the 2019 East Quarterfinals.
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