The NHL has released a statement confirming the 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium — and the Hockeytown Winter Festival — has been canceled.
“The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today’s decision unavoidable,” said NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly. “We simply are out of time.
“We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events.”
In the statement, Daly confirmed the 2014 game would be played in Michigan and feature both the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The NHL also addressed the issue of purchased tickets for the 2013 Winter Classic:
The next NHL Winter Classic – featuring the Red Wings and Maple Leafs — and Hockeytown Winter Festival will take place at the University of Michigan and Comerica Park, respectively.
Those who have purchased tickets for the 2012-13 events can either receive refunds or maintain their tickets for the future events. Ticket refund information for the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival can be found at: nhl.com/winterclassicrefund.
The cancellation was necessary because, given the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players’ Association and the NHL, the League was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude.
The release goes on to state “combined events were preparing to welcome nearly 400,000 guests to Detroit and Ann Arbor over the holiday period.”
That visitor influx would’ve had a major economic impact on the area, according to Detroit Sports Commissions executive director Dave Beachnau.