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Leonsis: D.C. won’t host Winter Classic in 2013

Jan 3, 2012, 10:33 AM EDT

Ted Leonsis

Sorry Capitals fans, it looks like the Winter Classic won’t be coming your way next year.

Caps owner Ted Leonsis has heard the rumors about the Caps possibly hosting the Winter Classic as soon as next year and took to his own website to say that while Washington D.C. looks forward to one day hosting the event, it won’t be happening next year.

“So – to set the record straight – there has NOT been any communication to us on a formal basis as to a Winter Classic coming to DC in a specific year. I have been told that the Winter Classic will NOT be coming to DC next year though. I have also been assured that because of the size of our fan base – and the beauty of our city – that a Winter Classic would come to Washington DC; at some point in the future. And that is good enough for me. ”

The speculation through the weekend in Philadelphia was that the front-runner for next year’s Winter Classic was Detroit/Ann Arbor. The lure of playing the game at Michigan’s Big House is there and the possibility of drawing more than 110,000 fans for the Winter Classic might be too big to ignore.

As it is now, D.C. would have to figure out where they’d like to play it. Some want to see the game played on The National Mall, but Leonsis said that would be nearly impossible to do. FedEx Field, RFK Stadium, and Nationals Park aren’t overly appealing. Baltimore’s Camden Yards is more pleasing to the eyes, but would likely make Caps fans ticked off about going to Baltimore to see their team.

  1. govtminion - Jan 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

    I agree on RFK (poorly maintained) and FedEx (keep Dan Snyder away from the Classic, for God’s sake!)… but what’s the problem with Nats park? I don’t see any problems with it that we haven’t seen from other baseball stadiums already. Parking is kind of a pain, but it does have Metro access to make up for that somewhat. It looks right over on the Capitol Dome for the TV shots. Aerial coverage might be a little awkward with the D.C. no-fly zones, but I’m sure they can make some changes for the day.

    Seems like the ideal solution to me.

    • miketoasty - Jan 3, 2012 at 12:05 PM

      Not a big fan of hosting the one of the biggest event’s in hockey at a baseball park. Not that I have any problem with baseball parks or baseball in general but the seating just doesn’t look like it works properly. Certain points just seem too far away. I would try and limit it to football stadium for the viewing angles along with the amount of people you can fit into a football stadium.

      • govtminion - Jan 3, 2012 at 12:28 PM

        Oh don’t get me wrong, I’d rather a football stadium as well- in MOST cities (Denver, for example). But here in D.C., as I said, you have the very poorly maintained RFK, which just wouldn’t work, and FedEx.

        So, why not FedEx, one of the largest-capacity stadiums in North America? Well, for one, Dan Snyder is as slimy as any person out there, and I hate to see him be able to get his mitts on this thing. If you’re not familiar with Snyder, he’s the owner of the Redskins- and if you’re not familiar with the decade-and-change failure he’s made that once-proud franchise into, it’s not hard to find evidence of it.

        In addition, hit Google Maps if you’ve not looked at the metro area- Landover, MD (where FedEx is) is a ways out of downtown. So all those great ‘fluff’ shots the cameras like to get of downtown Philly/Chicago/Boston/wherever that they’ve done the past few years? Forget it- you can’t see the downtown monuments from Landover, not without the cameras in the aircraft showing just how far away downtown is from the game. Think of it being basically like Boston- Fenway let you look at downtown Boston from the stadium, but Foxboro is just too far away. Same with Landover- it’s not the boonies by any means, but it’s also not very convenient. It’s also not really Metro-accessible, for what that’s worth.

        But Nats Park? Right near the Navy Yard, not far from the Capitol, looking right out on the Potomac, and no Snyder-stench. Win-win.

  2. polegojim - Jan 3, 2012 at 12:38 PM

    Book it Dan-o

    Big House 2013

    Mile High 2014

    New Vikings Stadium 2015

    • e5again - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:06 PM

      The new vikings stadium would have a retractable roof and I’m pretty sure it would not be built for the winter conditions.

      • polegojim - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Yep E – that’s exactly the point. Retract is included in the plan — beautiful ice.

      • e5again - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:13 PM

        But is the interior of the stadium going to be built to withstand winter conditions? I guess it only would need to be open for a few hours.

  3. t16rich - Jan 3, 2012 at 1:47 PM

    Phoenix or Florida one day is where it should be. Give the fans what they want

    • polegojim - Jan 3, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      ???? an OUTSIDE game in Phoenix or Florida???? You been drinking T?

    • danphipps01 - Jan 3, 2012 at 8:43 PM

      So, what, floor hockey then? Wait, you mean the NHL?! D:

  4. hague507 - Jan 4, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Since we’re talking 2014 at the earliest I think Nats stadium will work perfectly. The issue there right now is the parking and the lack of attractions in the surrounding area. I was in the area in late August and notice that construction of condos in the area is underway and new hotels gave been added as well as restaurants. I think by 2014 or beyond the Park will be a great solution.

    I also agree 100000% that Snyder should be kept as far away from the project as possible !!!

  5. tonyseesred - Jan 4, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Obviously not going to happen in the next few years, but they could def bring the winter classic to south florida. Do it in the Miami marlins arena..retractable stadium..could close it for a couple weeks, build perfect ice and then open it for the classsic…would likely be better ice conditions for the classic than in years past =] Traditionally, the panthers play the habs right around new years…ALWAYS a sell out game. and everyone watches the winter classic regardless of who is playing. why? because we’re hockey fans. So yes, bring it to south florida, you snowbirds can come get away from your miserable cold weather and come enjoy south beach and the winter classic while wearing a t-shirt and shorts. doesnt get better than that.

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