The Bruins will host the Canadiens in the 2016 Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium, WEEI.com has learned from league sources.
The Jan. 1 meeting between the two clubs, which has long been speculated, will be the second Winter Classic the Bruins have hosted.
Boston, which hosted the ’10 Classic at Fenway Park, has long been rumored as the landing site for the 2016 event, with Colorado and Minnesota tabbed as potential Stadium Series hosts (it’s also been rumored that Winnipeg will get the Heritage Classic, which will reportedly be reincarnated next year after taking 2015 off.)
Where the game would be played in Boston, though, was up in the air. The Red Sox openly campaigned to have the event at Fenway — in mid-December, Red Sox COO Sam Kennedy said he’d already spoken with B’s president Cam Neely — but many figured Gillette Stadium would get the game, largely because of the canyon-sized disparity in attendance.
Gillette goes 68,756 at max capacity, almost double what Fenway (37,400) can hold.
It’ll be interesting to see how scheduling will work if the game does eventually land at Gillette. This year, the wildcard round of the NFL playoffs happened two days after the Jan. 1 Winter Classic at Nationals Park in Washington; in 2011, the Capitals and Penguins played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, with the wild-card round beginning six days later. (The Steelers had an opening-round bye and didn’t begin their playoff campaign until Jan. 15.)