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Thursday, May 29, 2021

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Looks like next season’s NHL Winter Classic has been confirmed: Both TSN in Canada and the Chicago Sun-Times are reporting that Chicago will host the January 2009 outdoor National Hockey League matchup, with the Blackhawks hosting the Red Wings.

The specific venue isn’t clear yet, with Chi-town’s major-league baseball and football stadiums capable of being iced over. The media outlets say Wrigley Field, home of the Cubs, will be the site. However, I’ll point to last month’s announcement of a cross-marketing agreement between the Blackhawks and White Sox as a potential clue that U.S. Cellular Field will get to be the host facility. (That’s a cue to the pundits to discard the football-hockey comparisons used last time around in Buffalo, and to cook up some fitting pine tar quips.)

Doesn’t make much difference to me which Chicago ballpark gets the game, as I’m bummed that logistical problems killed a Rangers-Bruins Winter Classic in what would have been the last sporting even in old Yankee Stadium. But the early verdict on Wrigley, for one, suggests some potential issues:

Think of all the small ez-out parking lots that will be filled with mounds of plowed snow. The lack of parking is not so much an issue when it is 80 degrees out and you can walk blocks, even a mile or two. More importantly, the plumbing and facilities are suspect. That place is falling apart. Regardless, I’ll be there.

I don’t know enough about Chicago to judge whether the area surrounding U.S. Cellular (the former New Comiskey Park) is better-equipped for unfamiliar wintertime parking. Soldier Field, naturally, is well-situated for snow days during Bears season. I’m sure (or, at least, I hope) they’ll work all that out by January.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 05/29/2008 11:30:54 AM
Category: Baseball, Football, Hockey
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