Fenway Park, "America's Most Beloved Ballpark," will host the Boston Bruins for a Winter Classic next winter, according to many sources, on New Year's Day. Fenway has the 2010 NHL Winter Classic.
Last winter Wrigley Field hosted an outdoor game with the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings drawing over forty thousand fans.
Buffalo's Ralph Wilson Stadium attracted over seventy thousand fans to see the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Sabres.
Both newspapers said the Bruins’ opponent for the game has not been set. Douglas Flynn, writing in the New England Hockey Journal, says the obvious choice would be the New York Rangers.
The Rangers would appear a better fit on all fronts, Flynn reports. A Bruins-Rangers game would maintain the Original Six tradition and allows NBC to promote two of its biggest TV markets while tapping into the intense Boston-New York rivalry.
Fenway is close to the heart of the Boston-New York Rivalry thanks to the countless clashes between the Sox and Yankees. Another reason Flynn noted was Sean Avery’s clash with Tim Thomas last week.
A Bruins-Rangers first-round clash could further ratchet up the rivalry and spice up such a meeting, he says.
Montreal, Philadelphia, and Washington would be good choices, too, he said, but New York would be the best. USA today says the Boston Bruins' opponent likely will be the Washington Capitals or Philadelphia Flyers.
Close to 49,000 braved winter weather at Chicago's Wrigley Field to take in the 2009 Winter Classic, pitting the Blackhawks against the Red Wings, according to CBC Sports, and 71,000 Sabres fans watched Sidney Crosby give Pittsburgh a shootout win over Buffalo at Ralph Wilson Stadium in 2008.
The first Outdoor Classic was played in 2003 in Edmonton, with Montreal downing the Oilers 4-3 in front of close to sixty thousand fans.
The Blackhawks-Red Wings game was a hit on NBCl, with a 2.9 rating and a 6 share of the television audience, according to Barry M. Bloom of MLB.com, and the Buffalo-Pittsburgh game had comparable TV ratings, making it the most watched NHL regular-season game in a decade.
Last year's game was being weighed for the old Yankee Stadium, according to Steve Zippay of Newsday.com.