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.”