Despite rumors that the January 1, 2011 Winter Classic game will be played at Heinz Field, the NHL and the Pittsburgh Penguins have already not officially confirmed it to be true. I, for many Pittsburgh hockey fans, have been excited by this news in the same way since the announcement that the city was getting a new arena.
I suppose my criticisms of the past winter classics have made their way towards the NHL brass about putting hockey games on baseball fields. It just isn't conducive to lines of sight than a natural bowl that a football field provides. And there is always the attendence availability to consider. The Pittsburgh fans here have gobbled up available tickets to just about anything Steelers or Penguins. No doubt that a Winter Classic will be sold out in under an hour.
With the popularity of the Winter Classic continuing on the rise, there is reportedly many host cities in line to get the newest January 1st tradition. It would also be great to see the major city of New York lose out to Pittsburgh in hosting the event. I'm sure that a lot of special interest money (read: Steinbrenner) will be pushed "all in" to attract a major holiday event. But Pittsburgh has the better bargaining power of matching up the two biggest rivals this sport has ever seen.
[Via: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]