A proposed Heritage Classic game that would take place at Investors Group Field in Winnipeg during the 2015-16 NHL season has been postponed.
The Winnipeg Jets released the following statement Tuesday:
“True North Sports & Entertainment Limited and the Winnipeg Football Club, along with the National Hockey League, would like to formally announce that they were unable to finalize a date to hold the Heritage Classic at Investor’s Group Field during the 2015-16 NHL season. All parties are very hopeful that a date can be secured early in the 2016-17 NHL Season and will continue working toward that objective. The game will be an exciting celebration of hockey in our province and our city, one which both True North and the Bombers look forward to hosting at a time which works for all parties involved.”
The NHL reportedly plans to unveil its full slate of outdoor games for 2016 during the NHL All-Star Game festivities in Columbus this weekend. A Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium between the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, plus two Stadium Series games that will be played in Denver and Minnesota are expected to be announced and the Winnipeg Heritage Classic was also thought to be among those announcements.
However, the 2015 Grey Cup takes place Nov. 29 at Investors Group Field and that was a main point of discussion between the parties that resulted in the postponement. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, who first reported the story, the NHL wanted the Heritage Classic to take place in late December 2015, but the Winnipeg Blue Bombers – who play their home games at Investors Group Stadium – were concerned that having the outdoor game so close to the Grey Cup could detract from or overshadow the CFL’s most important weekend and potentially affect ticket sales and corporate sponsorship.
According to the Press, True North Sports & Entertainment, the Blue Bombers and the NHL are now targeting some time in December 2016 for the Winnipeg Heritage Classic.