2025 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates

By: Sports Teller


2025 NHL Winter Classic: Which Stadiums Could Host the Outdoor Game in 2025? Which Teams Are Likely to Host the 2025 NHL Winter Classic?

Hello Everyone! Welcome to Sports Teller! Today, we will be going over the 2025 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. Without further adieu, let’s begin!

2025 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 2025! 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.

Heritage Classic 2023: Unfortunately, there will be no Heritage Classic for the 2022-2023 season. But fortunately, the Canadian event is slated to return during the 2023-2024 campaign. According to Elliotte Friedman (Sportsnet), Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton is a frontrunner to host the next Heritage Classic due to the possibility of a 20th anniversary of the inaugural outdoor Canadian event. By the way, that first Heritage Classic took place at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton (Oilers vs. Canadiens). 

Who Should Host the 2025 NHL Winter Classic?

Before we can get into the 2025 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 2025 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 2025 outdoor game! For the 2025 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates, please refer to the information below:

2025 NHL Winter Classic Host Candidates:

Stadiums Possibly in the Mix to Host 2025 NHL Winter Classic

Angel Stadium-Anaheim, California

  • Home of the MLB’s Los Angeles Angels
  • Seating Capacity: Over 45,000
  • Possible Match-Up: Ducks vs. Kings
  • Since Dodger Stadium got to host the 2014 Stadium Series, how about Angel Stadium? Besides, Anaheim is about a 35-45 minute drive from Los Angeles. Anyway, Angel Stadium recently hosted the MLB All-Star Game in 2010. In addition, the Angels ballpark is one of the most visited baseball stadiums in america. In recent years, Angel Stadium has set world records that include the “most fans with sombreros in a game” to “most fans with cowboy hats at a baseball game.” With Los Angeles having a good turnout for an outdoor hockey game, there might be a chance for a similar result in Anaheim.  

Spartan Stadium-East Lansing, Michigan

  • Home of the Michigan State Spartans Football
  • Seating Capacity: Over 75,000
  • Possible Match-Up: Red Wings vs. Rangers
  • With Michigan Stadium (Wolverines) ended up hosting the 2014 event, now is the time to have another in-state college football stadium to earn that same honor. Spartan Stadium has witnessed some successful Michigan State teams over the past decade. For instance, the Spartans won the 2013 Rose Bowl and made the playoffs in 2015. In fact, Michigan State won the 2021 Peach Bowl vs. Pittsburgh. Most importantly, Spartan Stadium hosted the 2001 outdoor game between MSU and the Wolverines. With 2025 coming upon us, it will be about ten years since the Winter Classic took place in the state of Michigan. 

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 2025 NHL Winter Classic

Arrowhead Stadium-Kansas City, Missouri

  • Home of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs
  • Seating Capacity: Over 75,000
  • Possible Match-Up: Blues vs. Stars
  • Missouri is the only Midwest state where a football stadium has never hosted an NHL outdoor hockey game. There are a couple factors that led to this point. One is that St. Louis’ football stadium is a domed venue (The Dome at America’s Center). To add on to that, the football scene in Gateway City has diminished due to the Rams relocating to Los Angeles in 2016. Fortunately, Busch Stadium did get to host the 2017 Winter Classic (Blues vs. Blackhawks). However, the only high profile football stadium in Missouri is at Arrowhead Stadium. Therefore, Kansas City would be a great option for an outdoor hockey game since it has a record for one of the loudest venues in the country

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.

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 place 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 2025, things have changed regarding Beaver Stadium’s feasibility situation and the NHL starts to look into Beaver Stadium again.

Front-Runners to Host the 2025 NHL Winter Classic

Wrigley Field-Chicago, Illinois

  • Home of the Chicago Cubs Baseball
  • Seating Capacity: Over 40,000
  • Possible Match-Up: Blackhawks vs. Blues
  • Since Fenway Park will become the first venue to host the Winter Classic twice (2010, 2023), why not the Friendly Confines? The last time Wrigley Field hosted the outdoor event was in 2009 vs. Detroit. And that was when the Blackhawks and Red Wings were division rivals before the league realigned Detroit to the Eastern Conference. Also, the Chicago Cubs won their first championship in over 100 years when they claimed the 2016 series vs. Cleveland. Most importantly, the Friendly Confines underwent major renovations since 2009 that saw new concourses and new hotels. If any previous Winter Classic hosts get to host again, then Wrigley Field would be a great option for the NHL’s return. 

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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