New kids on block faceoff at Winter Classic



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NHL Winter Classics 2024 Image: T-Mobile

The National Hockey League (NHL) has announced that Seattle will host the 2024 Winter Classic on January 1st at the T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, US, the home the Major League Baseball (MLB) team Seattle Mariners.

‘NHL’ stated that the NHL team Seattle Kraken will face their peer team – the Vegas Golden Knights – in what is sure to be an action-packed matchup between the NHL’s newest franchises.

New York City (US)-based the National Hockey League (NHL) is a professional ice hockey league in North America comprising 32 teams- 25 in the United States and 7 in Canada. It is considered to be the top-ranked professional ice hockey league in the world, and is one of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada.

The T-Mobile Park is a retractable roof stadium in Seattle, Washington, United States. It is the home ballpark of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners and has a seating capacity of 47,929. It sits in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, near the Western terminus of Interstate 90.

The Seattle Kraken is a professional ice hockey team based in Seattle, US. The Kraken competes in the National Hockey League as a member of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference and began play during the league’s 2021-2022 seasons. They play their home games at the 17,459-capacity Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle, Washington.

The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, US. They compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference. They play their home games at the 20,000-capacity T-Mobile Arena in Paradise, Nevada.
 

History of the Winter Classic

The NHL Winter Classic is an annual outdoor ice hockey game played during the National Hockey League’s regular season on or around New Year’s Day. It is generally held in a football or baseball stadium in an area with a resident NHL team.

The Winter Classic is the NHL’s premier regular season event. Each year, one City is awarded this spectacular tradition that honors hockey’s outdoor origins in an awe-inspiring setting.

The Winter Classic was established in 2008 when the NHL teams Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins squared off at the Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York (now the 71,608-capacity Highmark Stadium). Since then, the event has taken place in venues across the continent, including the 41,649-capacity Wrigley Field in Chicago, the 1, 07,601-capacity Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the 92,100-capacity Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

Pricing and ticket sales timing for the 2024 Winter Classic will be announced by the NHL in the coming months. Kraken Season Ticket Members will receive first priority to purchase during a pre-sale period.
 

Outdoor Hockey

‘NHL’ further stated that the January 1st, 2024 game will be the 15th Winter Classic, this one featuring the Kraken hosting Vegas, a first for both expansion teams.

The Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis grew up playing hockey outside and then starred as a juniors player in his hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (Canada), which operates five outdoor skating rinks during the Winter months, plus skating trails and numerous home-spun outdoor ice surfaces.

Remarked Francis, “Outdoor hockey is at the essence of our game and the way many of our players grew up playing. We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase the Winter Classic in Seattle.”

Put in Tod Leiweke, head honcho of Seattle Kraken, “We are honored the NHL has selected the Kraken, in just our second season, to host this amazing event at the home of our friends, the Mariners. More than 40,000 fans will witness the beauty and grace of our wonderful game in a venue that showcases the Puget Sound surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.”

Seattle fans will get the distinct pleasure of attending a Wintertime event at the beloved ballpark. For more information about tickets, visit nhl.com/kraken/winterclassic to sign up for alerts. Details about ticket sales will be released by the league in the Spring, however, Kraken season ticket members will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets via a presale.

Along with the game, the league stages an annual free, two-day fan festival for each Winter Classic. The fan fest is intended to allow all comers to enjoy the celebration of hockey and the roots of playing outdoors, family-friendly hockey interactives, giveaways, food, and a special appearance by the oldest and most revered trophy in sports – the Stanley Cup.

Commented Catie Griggs, Seattle Mariners President of Business Operations, “It’s a tremendous honor to host the next NHL Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support our hometown team when they take the ice and see our ballpark packed to the rafters with our City’s incredible fans cheering them on.”

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