2024 NHL Winter Classic: Which Stadiums Are Favored to Host the Outdoor Game in 2024? Which Teams Will Likely Host the 2024 Winter Classic?
Hello Everyone! Welcome to Sports Teller! Today, we will be going over the 2024 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates! Before we go over what those candidates are, we will be showcasing the upcoming outdoor games for the 2022-2023 NHL Season.
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2024 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates
Now that the NHL community knows the next Winter Classic for the 2022-2023 campaign, now is the time to look forward to 2024! But first, let’s take a look at the future NHL Outdoor Events!
Upcoming NHL Outdoor Events Scheduled!
Winter Classic 2023: The Boston Bruins will host the 2022 NHL Winter Classic vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Bruins will play in an outdoor game at Fenway Park for the first time since 2010 vs. Philadelphia Flyers. Meanwhile, the Bruins will be playing outside for the first time since the 2019 NHL Winter Classic vs. Blackhawks (Notre Dame). The event will take place on Monday, January 2, 2023.
All-Star Game 2023: The Florida Panthers will get to host the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers were supposed to host the All-Star Game in 2021, but was pushed back two years later due to the global health crisis. Florida will have the honors for the first time since 2003 when the venue was known as Office Depot Center. The event will happen on Saturday, February 4, 2023.
NHL Stadium Series 2023: The Carolina Hurricanes will be the main host for the 2023 NHL Stadium Series vs. Washington Capitals at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes will host the event for the first time in franchise history. Meanwhile, the Capitals recently participated in the 2018 NHL Stadium Series vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (Annapolis). The event will occur on Saturday, February 18, 2023.
Who Should Host the 2024 NHL Winter Classic?
Before we can get into the 2024 NHL Winter Classic, we must go over the NHL’s most recent outdoor events. First, the NHL Heritage Classic returned as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton in March 2022. The 2022 NHL Winter Classic took place at Target Field in Minneapolis, where the St. Louis Blues took down the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Then, the Nashville Predators hosted the NHL Stadium Series vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning in February 2022 at Nissan Stadium (home of the Tennessee Titans). And finally, the Vegas Golden Knights served as the home venue for the 2022 NHL All-Star Game at T-Mobile Arena.
Now, let’s talk about which cities would be eligible for the 2024 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 2024 outdoor game! For the 2024 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates, please refer to the information below:
2024 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates:
Stadiums Possibly in the Mix to Host 2024 NHL Winter Classic
Rice-Eccles Stadium-Salt Lake City, Utah
- Home of the Utah Utes Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 50,000
- Possible Match-Up: Avalanche vs. Sharks
- Rice-Eccles Stadium would be a great location for the Winter Classic not only for its capacity, but also its history. The venue was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2022 Salt Lake City Olympics. Recently, the Utah Utes football program won the 2021 Pac-12 Championship and played in their first ever Rose Bowl. In addition, the capital city of Utah is becoming a major sports city in the Rocky Mountains for the foreseeable future. In 2023, Salt Lake City will host the NBA All-Star Game at Vivint Arena.
Comerica Park-Detroit, Michigan
- Home of the Detroit Tigers Baseball
- Seating Capacity: Over 40,000
- Possible Match-Up: Red Wings vs. Senators
- Even though the 2014 Winter Classic took place at Ann Arbor (home of the Michigan Wolverines), the event’s festival actually took place at Comerica Park. If the Red Wings make a return to the Winter Classic in Detroit, than Comerica Park would be a good fit for the annual event.
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).
Stadiums Not to Rule Out to Host 2024 NHL Winter Classic
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.
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).
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 2024 NHL Winter Classic
Guaranteed Rate Field-Chicago, Illinois
- Home of the Chicago White Sox Baseball
- Seating Capacity: Over 40,000
- Possible Match-Up: Blackhawks vs. Avalanche
- After Wrigley Field (2009) and Soldier Field (2014) hosted the Blackhawks’ outdoor games, Guaranteed Rate Field is the only open-air stadium that has yet to host the Winter Classic. Since the Blackhawks last took part in an outdoor game in 2019 (Winter Classic vs. Bruins at Notre Dame), 2024 would be a good time for them to return to play outside.
Lumen Field-Seattle, Washington
- Home of the Seattle Seahawks Football
- Seating Capacity: Over 70,000
- Possible Match-Up: Kraken vs. Canucks
- Lumen Field would be the perfect venue for a Pacific Northwest Winter Classic since it has more capacity than the nearby T-Mobile Park (over 45,000). Also, what better way to showcase the Kraken vs. Canucks rivalry than to have them face-off outdoors at the Winter Classic.
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