Skip to content

It’s official: Detroit, Toronto to play 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium

Feb 9, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Big House

The Winter Classic is coming to the Motor City.

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman made the news official this morning at a press conference from Comerica Park, announcing that the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs would participate in the sixth-ever Winter Classic.

“Let me now make it official, the National Hockey League is proud to announce the Detroit Red Wings will host the 2013 Winter Classic,” Bettman said. “The Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013.

“It was the vision of Mike and Marian Ilitch that this Winter Classic be the biggest one ever. Since this outdoor matchup is so big, there is only one place where it could be played — The Big House at the University of Michigan.”

The 2013 Winter Classic will be played on arguably the grandest stage in league history. Michigan Stadium — aka The Big House — has a football capacity of 109, 901, but set a world hockey record at the 2010 Big Chill at the Big House with an announced attendance of 113,411. (Of note, the Guinness World Record counted tickets scanned rather than sold, putting the Big Chill attendance at 104,173.)

As for Comerica Park, it’ll be home to a number of events during the Winter Classic including AHL and OHL games, the alumni game and open skating throughout the weekend.

Here’s a picture of what the Comerica Park Field will look like, courtesy Yahoo’s Nick Cotsonika:


Of note, Bettman said events at Comerica Park will bring between 150,000-200,000 people to downtown Detroit during Winter Classic weekend.

PHT Related

Michigan coach Berenson on Big House: “I can’t imagine a better place to play an outdoor game”

Michigan AD: NHL “hell-bent” on breaking hockey attendance record

  1. hockinj25 - Feb 9, 2012 at 11:10 AM

    when do tickets go on sale?

    • hystoracle - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Might want to wait til that CBA thing is settled before shelling out any dough. Need to make sure there actually will be a season and not another voided year. If Mackenzie is asking if the CBA will be done in time for the Winter Classic; then it isn’t looking good.

  2. brucewaynewins - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:49 PM

    I’m from Cincinnati and was considering going to the All Star game but I may skip it and go to this instead.

  3. lsxphotog - Feb 9, 2012 at 12:59 PM

    Going to this one…

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:32 PM


  5. bensawesomeness - Feb 9, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Any word on if they’re letting them sell beer at the big house? i know that was something people were concerned about

  6. polegojim - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:10 PM

    Incredible event and venue! I hope Toronto is better next year as well.

    GO BLUE!


    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Feb 9, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      They looked pretty good against the Wings this year.

  7. Jeff - Feb 9, 2012 at 5:55 PM

    Ann Arbor is not the Motor City.

  8. 8man - Feb 9, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    Good call. Like the choice in teams as well. I can’t wait to see what the Wings and Leafs whip up for sweaters for this event. Congratulations Ann Arbor…and Detroit!

    On a side note, I think we are inching closer to having two of these per year….

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1905)
  2. P. Kane (1429)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1340)
  4. M. Richards (1191)
  5. M. Giordano (1171)