2013 Winter Classic is Michigan bound

The 2013 outdoor winter classic pitting the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs is set to be played under the lights of the stoic University of Michigan Stadium.

The Michigan Board of Regents voted to host the event after finalizing an agreement that requires the NHL to lease the building for $3 million dollars, according to The New York Times.

“It’s a great win for everybody,” Regent Andrea Fischer Newman said.

The Chicago Tribune added that the NHL is expected to donate a significant amount of money to the University’s scholarship foundations.

In return, the NHL will lease the stadium from December 1, 2012 until mid-January 2013.  They will also be allowed to post advertising throughout the stadium and sell liquor on the stadium’s premises.

The NHL is expected to control the ticketing and parking, however, game day operations will be handled by both the NHL and Michigan staff.

“The whole process has been far more complicated than I ever would have dreamed possible,” Michigan Athletic Director Dave Brandon said.

Michigan stadium is more aptly known as “the big house” for its massive frame that can seat 109,901 raucous fans.  If the stadium sells out for the Winter Classic, it will break the world record for largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game.

The current record is held by Michigan and Michigan State who, fittingly enough, played at Michigan Stadium in 2010 to the sound of 104,173 fans cheering them on.

The historic Michigan stadium is a prime location for the Red Wings and Maple Leafs who have been rivals since 1926.

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Categories: Columnist,Hockey