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Winter Classic Returns to Hockey Roots

Hockey returns to its roots with an outdoor hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

The Detroit Red Wings recently held an outdoor practice at Comerica Park.
The Detroit Red Wings recently held an outdoor practice at Comerica Park.
When the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs take the ice on New Year's Day for the Winter Classic, they will be returning to hockey roots of playing outdoors.

When they were young, they played on backyard rinks, canals and frozen lakes just like many hockey players today who take the ice along Lake St. Clair. 

"The whole concept behind the outdoor games is that it is how a lot of us learned to skate, outside on ice. We recreated that and set up a small rink that we put little kids on," Don Renzulli, NHL executive vice president of events, told Time 

Need to know

  • Game time: 1 p.m. at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor
  • Parking lots open: 7 a.m. (See attached PDF for lot locations.)
  • Gates open: 10 a.m.
  • Bag check: There is a "no bag policy" at Michigan Stadium. Please leave purses and bags at home.
  • Spectator Plaza: Enjoy live music, food, beverages and interactive hockey-themed attractions from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Watch on TV: The game will be televised on NBC.

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