Predators and Stars to Play at Cotton Bowl in 2020 NHL Winter Classic

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJanuary 25, 2019

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - DECEMBER 13: Ryan Johansen #92 of the Nashville Predators skates during the third period of a 4-3 Predators overtime victory over Vancouver Canucks at Bridgestone Arena on December 13, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)
Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The NHL has announced the participants and locations for next season's Winter Classic and Stadium Series:


🚨 2020 HERE WE COME 🚨 The matchup is set! The @PredsNHL will take on the @DallasStars at the Cotton Bowl in the 2020 @Bridgestone Winter Classic. https://t.co/pOu4tIm1z1


🎶 ROCKY MOUNTAIN WAY 🎶 The 2020 Stadium Series will feature the @LAKings and the @Avalanche battling it out at the @AF_Academy! https://t.co/qMTDj95f1w

The Winter Classic tradition began in 2008, when the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Buffalo Sabres 2-1 in a shootout at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The game has been held every year since, but 2020 will mark the first time the Winter Classic will be played in a southern state.

The location raises the question of how the game will be pulled off. While the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex isn't immune to cold weather in the winter, the average high for Dallas in January is 57 degrees Fahrenheit, according to U.S. Climate Data. Conceivably, Dallas could have a January heat wave, as the all-time record high for New Year's Day is 83 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

There are a few things to keep in mind, though. First, the game could hypothetically be played at night, when it's obviously colder and closer to the average January low of 30 degrees.

Second, an outdoor game has been played in warm conditions before. Per Mike Chambers of the Denver Post, the temperature was 65 degrees Fahrenheit at faceoff for the Detroit Wings at Colorado Avalanche game at Coors Field on Feb. 27, 2016. He also wrote that "the ice held up just fine."

The broader takeaway is that the Winter Classic is being spread more to teams below the Mason-Dixon line. The St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals are the only teams below the line to have participated, but the number will double next January.


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