NHL Still Working To Find Site For Blackhawks-Capitals Winter Classic Game
The NHL still has made no official announcement where this season's Blackhawks-Capitals Bridgestone Winter Classic game will be held, perhaps because "there are hurdles left to clear," according to sources cited by Prewitt & DeBonis of the WASHINGTON POST. The lack of announcement comes with "one month left until the NHL preseason begins and with the Jan. 1 game" less than five months away. The venue announcement for the '12 Winter Classic, the "most recent game held at a baseball stadium, fell along a similar timeline." The NHL did not name Citizens Bank Park until Sept. 26, 2011. One possible location for Blackhawks-Capitals is Nationals Park, and under the Nationals’ lease with the city, the team "would have final say in allowing the use of the publicly financed, city-owned ballpark." Events DC CEO Greg O’Dell understands that negotiations between the Nationals and the NHL "are ongoing." He added, "I have not been told definitively by anybody that they have ceased discussions." O’Dell said that his agency "floated RFK Stadium as a possible location for the Winter Classic months ago and had some discussions with the NHL about that site, but the league has not approached Events DC about RFK since talks with the Nationals began." A National Parks Service spokesperson said that the NHL "made an informal enquiry about using the National Mall, but no permit applications have been issued." A source said that FedExField "has been ruled out" because the Redskins and Cowboys play there Dec. 28. That "would leave little time to erect the outdoor rink for the 1 p.m. puck drop four days later" (WASHINGTON POST, 8/16).