Wild to host 2021 Winter Classic at Target Field

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DALLAS — The Winter Classic is heading to Minnesota in 2021.

The NHL announced on Wednesday that next season’s New Year’s Day outdoor game will be hosted by the Minnesota Wild at Target Field. The game will take place Jan. 1, 2021 at the home of baseball’s Minnesota Twins.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is about taking hockey back to its outdoor roots – and there is no better place to celebrate the incredible strength surrounding our game than in Minnesota,” said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman in a statement. “The Minnesota Wild organization and their fans in the Twin Cities and across the state have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to host the NHL’s New Year’s showcase and we are thrilled to be bringing next year’s game to Target Field.”

No opponent has been selected yet, but the Blackhawks, Blues, Jets, and Avalanche are among the front-runners under consideration.

The 2021 Winter Classic, which will be broadcast on NBC, will be the NHL’s 31st outdoor game and second for the Wild. In 2016 they played host to a Stadium Series matchup against the Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.