The Winter Classic is headed north. After the success that the event has been so far in Dallas, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced the Minnesota Wild will host in 2021. The game will be held on January 1st at Target Field where the MLB’s Minnesota Twins play. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reports that the Winnipeg Jets, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues have been discussed as possible opponents.
It has been a long wait for the State of Hockey, seemingly the perfect place for an outdoor game thanks to the strong fanbase and climate in Minnesota. The Wild have played in a single outdoor game, the 2016 Stadium Series matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. Bettman released a statement about next year’s game:
The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is about taking hockey back to its outdoor roots – and there is no better place to celebrate the incredible strength surrounding our game than in Minnesota. The Minnesota Wild organization and their fans in the Twin Cities and across the state have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to host the NHL’s New Year’s showcase and we are thrilled to be bringing next year’s game to Target Field.
Though the opponent won’t be announced for some time, fans can already start making plans to find their way down to the ballpark for some New Year’s Day hockey.