According to MLive.com, the NHL will announce officially on Thursday, February 9th that the 2013 Winter Classic will be held at Michigan Stadium and pit Original 6 rivals the Toronto Maple Leafs against the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings will make the short trip from their usual home of Joe Louis Arena to Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Big House.
It is anticipated that the crowd will be the largest ever to watch an outdoor hockey game. The previous record was recorded at Michigan Stadium as well when Michigan State played Michigan in front of 113,411 in 2010.
The Winter Classic has proven to be a huge success for the NHL, with games being held on the 1st or 2nd of January each year, a New Years Day tradition that rivals the Bowl games for many sports fans.
The first "Winter Classic" was held in Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium, and the game has continued, being held at Wrigley Field in 2009, Fenway Park in 2010, Heinz Field in 2011, and Citizens Bank Park in 2012. This is no doubt a growing trend in the sport. Progressive Field recently hosted a college game between Michigan and Ohio State in the first Frozen Diamond Faceoff, and there are at least eight additional outdoor games scheduled for Comerica Park in 2013, including a match-up of the Maple Leafs and Red Wings AHL affiliates, the Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies.