Busch Stadium confirmed as host of 2017 Winter Classic

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman joins Hockey Central to announce that on New Year’s Day there will be an outdoor game at BMO Field between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings.

Gary Bettman has confirmed that Busch Stadium, home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, will host the 2017 Winter Classic.

The game, which will take place on Jan. 2 will feature the St. Louis Blues against the Chicago Blackhawks.

It will be the first-ever outdoor game for the Blues, who will be celebrating their 50th anniversary, while the Blackhawks have already played in four.

“The match-up of the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium continues the great traditions of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a release. “We’re delighted that, during our Centennial year, the great fans in St. Louis can host the first outdoor meeting of these two Central Division neighbors, who are separated by fewer than 300 miles and are unified by 50 years of an outstanding hockey rivalry.”

St. Louis has been rumoured as the site of the 2017 Winter Classic since February.

The Blues will be the 23rd team to get to play an outdoor game.

“We are proud and honoured to be chosen as the host city for the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic,” Blues President and CEO of Business Operations Chris Zimmerman said. “Our organization and our fans have been clamouring for this opportunity to showcase the city of St. Louis and one of the greatest rivalries in sports. This will be a historic event at Busch Stadium and a great addition to our 50th Anniversary celebration.”