NHL Winter Classic: Top 10 Venues for Next Year's Game and Beyond

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NHL Winter Classic: Top 10 Venues for Next Year's Game and Beyond
Nick Laham/Getty Images

The Winter Classic has become a event like no other in North American professional sports.

Once a season, the NHL plays a game in the outdoor conditions in their best attempt to recreate the origins of the sport of hockey. The Winter Classic game counts in the NHL's regular season standings and statistics.

Since it's original game played on January 1, 2008 in Buffalo, New York—the NHL has continued the trend and added the Winter Classic to its regular season schedule ever since.

Most recently, an outdoor game was played in Edmonton, Alberta on November 22, 2003 as the Montreal Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3. The event was called the Heritage Classic.

The game was played in front of 57,000 fans in frigid temperatures. This season the Calgary Flames will host the Montreal Canadiens in February for a second Heritage Classic to be played at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

This season the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on January 1, 2011.

Heinz Field is home to the professional football's Pittsburgh Steelers and was completed in time for the Steelers to begin play for the 2001 NFL season. The stadium's steel design reflects the steel industrial history of the city of Pittsburgh and is located on the city's waterfront.

This modern football stadium will serve as the backdrop for this year's NHL Winter Classic presented by Bridgestone.

The Winter Classic has been played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo, Wrigley Field in Chicago, Fenway Park in Boston and Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.

At this time the 2012 Winter Classic location and teams have not been finalized.

The following are my top 10 venues for next season's games.

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