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Mayor: Canadian Motor Speedway would be “perfect” for Leafs-Sabres outdoor game

Nov 7, 2012, 11:45 AM EDT


The Winter Classic, coming to a motor speedway soon?

In the eyes of Fort Erie Mayor Doug Martin, maybe. Just maybe.

That’s what Martin told the Toronto Star on Monday after the Ontario Municipal Board cleared all appeals to the $400 million Canadian Motor Speedway development near the Peace Bridge — the bridge connecting Canada (Fort Erie) and the U.S. (Buffalo, NY.)

“I think a Leafs-Buffalo game there would be perfect,” Martin said. “We’re not sure the design of it would be perfect, with the oval and the road course there, but it would be a great event to have once this is up and running.”

The Star reports the Maple Leafs are targeting 2017 — the club’s centennial celebration year — to host one of the NHL’s “big three” events: The All-Star game, the entry draft or the annual outdoor game (which, thanks to the cancelation of the 2013 Winter Classic, isn’t technically an annual event anymore.)

The CMS — designed by NASCAR great Jeff Gordon — has yet to break ground, but measures 332 hectares and will feature a 2.5-mile road course and seating for 65,000. The current timeline for completion is 2014.

“We talked about that (Leafs-Sabres game) when the idea for this track first came up,” Martin said. “It’s a dream event, but I think it would be great to see Toronto and Buffalo here.”

(Image courtesy

  1. buffalobills2012 - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:02 PM

    IN 2005 I wrote an email to the Buffalo Sabres, WGR550, The Buffalo News and Tom Golosiano with this idea:

    Have a Outside Hockey weekend event at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
    Saturday could feature a day of local youth hockey clubs playing with the Rochester Americans playing the Toronto Marlies to cap off night and the Sunday Afternoon the Sabres could play the Maple Leafs. Make a weekend out of it with rinks set up outside Stadium and numerous things for tailgaters to do….then the idea was stolen and you know how the endig took place….

    • braddavery - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      How was it “stolen” if you sent it to them? Did you ask for a cut? lol

    • thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 7, 2012 at 5:08 PM

      I do remember a call to WGR exactly like this, and thought of it when we officially got the game. I’m not sure why you think the idea was “stolen”. You wrote (and called) with a suggestion and it was granted to you/us (more or less as requested – sans tor and the ahl game) shortly after that. There were outdoor games in Canada before that, so it wasn’t a new idea, and it could have been in the works already.

  2. rainyday56 - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    On a related note, why not get the Tiger Cats and Bills play an arena game at Copps?

  3. murtdurt - Nov 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    1 leafs winter classic is 1 more then we all need. 2 is just unnecessary

  4. sjsharks66 - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    Agreed ^^

  5. buffalobills2012 - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    no they didnt cut me in so yea it was stolen….lol….bastards.

  6. lostpuppysyndrome - Nov 7, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    A roundy-rounder track “designed” by Jeff Gordon? What exactly did he design? “Ummm, well, it should prob’ly have ’bout two banked turnin’ sides, preferably goin’ left, with maybe some straight parts in between so mah car kin go real fast, aaaaand it’s break time. Good job y’all.”

    • cweez2 - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:15 PM

      Actually, Gordon can turn right. He is the design consultant for not only the oval, but the road and drift tracks – better than the Hermann Tilke tracks plaguing new development.

      In addition he and the company he runs are also very involved in the facilities layout including stands and suite placement. They’re also part of the research/industrial park development nearby. I’d be surprised if he didn’t have financial stake as well.

      Y’all care ta pays attention befur y’all hit that ‘posts comments’ button next time, y’hear?

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:46 PM

        Fair enough. I do actually like NASCAR (sometimes). The mental image of someone designing a NASCAR track just made me giggle. Sarcasm does not translate well over the interwebs.

        And re: Hermann Tilke, he’s gotten better. Moscow and Aragon turned out pretty well, for WSBK and MotoGP anyway. Can’t wait for Circuit of the Americas!

      • cweez2 - Nov 7, 2012 at 3:49 PM

        As long as there are no more Yas Marinas (Abu Dhabi). I thought that was Tilke’s low point.

  7. husky2score - Nov 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    Sorry, but hockey players make both left and right turns.

  8. dkphilly1122 - Nov 7, 2012 at 7:19 PM

    Don’t they need teams that people would actually wanna watch in the Winter Classic?? Leafs and Sabres?? They would make next to no revenue and if they aren’t making money from it they wouldn’t do it. The only reason people would watch next years Leafs and Red wings is mostly for Detroit….and some Leafs fans, but Buffalo?? That’s a joke. At least pick two good teams for the Classic that people wanna see.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 7, 2012 at 8:26 PM

      Buffalo already had a Winter Classic and as far as I know it worked out pretty well. Don’t try to tell me people only watched because they were playing Crosby and Co. That wouldn’t make much sense since everyone outside of Pittsburgh seems to hate them.

      Leafs and Sabres is a good rivalry. They would put on a good show in a Winter Classic if given the chance, no doubt about it.

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Nov 7, 2012 at 10:20 PM

        Right. There were 73,000 people there: it’s the highest attended NHL game to date (although I believe “next years” upcoming Wings/Leafs game will trump it). The ratings will be high no matter who plays.

  9. igglesphan530 - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Why does America’s hat even get into the Winter Classic? Do they not have the Heritage Classic? Combine them or keep them seperate.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Nov 8, 2012 at 10:54 AM

      You’re right. They should probably just rename it the “East of the Miss, South of the 49th” Classic.

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Nov 8, 2012 at 3:57 PM

      Why? It’s because usually we provide the players, you provide the venue. Now we want to change it up a bit.

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