It was announced today by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman that the next outdoor Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be held in Michigan Stadium with over 100,000 seats. It will be hosted by Detroit Red Wings against Toronto Maple Leafs (both original six) on New Years day 2013, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
You may well need binoculars to see any of the action, but this (if full) will be the largest hockey attendance in North America. The largest crowd so far, was back in 2010 at the Michigan Stadium, when 104,000 attended a match between University of Michigan and Michigan State University.
This will be the sixth running of Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® and probably one of the riches rivalries in the NHL. There's no doubt many of the Toronto Maple Leaf fans will make their way to Ann Arbor for the event and the festivities prior to the regular schedule league game. Previously the largest crowd for The Winter Classic was back in 2008 (the first game in The Winter Classic) when Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins played before 71,000 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, NY.
It may well be that Detroit will be playing the Stanley Cup winners, but that may be a bit of a stretch, but Toronto is having one of their best seasons in many years. We can always hope since it has been since the 60's when Toronto Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup.