The Toronto Maple Leafs will reportedly participate in next year’s NHL Winter Classic.
The National Hockey League has reached a deal that would see the Detroit Red Wings host the Leafs on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium in a game that could attract more than 100,000 fans, according to a mlive.com.
The NHL has not confirmed, however, that a deal has been reached. And Sportsnet’s John Shannon says the deal is not done.
An outdoor matchup between the Leafs and Wings in Detroit has been talked about for a long while with the Red Wings rumoured to have asked for the game to take place at Comerica Park — home of Major League Baseball’s Detroit Tigers.
However, a rink will be constructed at Comerica Park that will coincide with the Winter Classic and host other events leading up to it, such as the popular alumni game.
Fans from Toronto are expected to flock to the game because of Ontario’s close proximity to Michigan.
The current NHL attendance record is 71,217, set at the 2008 Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
The 2013 Winter Classic events are expected to officially be announced in early February.
On Dec. 11, 2010, Michigan Stadium played host to an NCAA college hockey game between Michigan and Michigan State that set a world record for attendance at a hockey game with 113,411. The previous record was 77,803, which was set during a game between Germany and Team USA at the World Ice Hockey Championships in May of 2010 at the Veltins-Arena soccer stadium in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.