It’s official — the 2015 Winter Classic between the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals will held on Jan. 1 at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.
In a press release, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman called the baseball stadium “an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun” of the annual outdoor game, which will be televised live nationally on NBC, starting at 1 p.m. ET on New Year’s Day.
Similarly, Caps owner Ted Leonsis was confident that Nationals Park would “provide an incredible backdrop for the game.”
From the press release:
Located in Southeast Washington, south of the Capitol and adjacent to the Navy Yard, Nationals Park is home to Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals. The 41,546-seat venue opened in March 2008, with panoramic views of the riverfront, Navy Yard, the surrounding city and landmarks such as the Capitol and the Washington Monument.
“We are honored to have been selected to host the NHL Winter Classic at Nationals Park,” said Mark D. Lerner, one of the Washington Nationals Principal Owners and Vice Chairman. “The Classic is one of North America’s premier sports events, and we look forward to sharing our ballpark and our city with NHL fans from around the world.”
The Winter Classic has already been held in three baseball stadiums — Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park, and Philadelphia’s Citizen Bank Park.
The 2014 game was held at Michigan Stadium, a football venue, where over 100,000 fans gathered to watch the Red Wings and Maple Leafs.