November 22, 2014

REPORT: Washington Capitals to host 2015 Winter Classic

The speculation surrounding the Washington Capitals’ “major announcement” they teased earlier in the week has been revealed. As first reported by Sky Kerstein of 106.7 The Fan and District Sports Page contributor, now confirmed by others, the Caps have been chosen by the league as the host of the 2015 NHL Winter Classic.

The details of the game, such as venue and opponent, have not been announced and the team has made no public comment about the news since confirmed reports have surfaced.

The Caps played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field, a football stadium. Similarly, the New Year’s Day showcase was first played at Buffalo’s Ralph Wilson Stadium. But it has also been hosted at several baseball-only venues as well.

Obviously, FedEx Field and Nationals Park are the two most logical venues for the game, and both have their appeal. FedEx Field’s capacity is much larger than Nats Park, and I’m sure the Caps would have no trouble filling the joint. But Nats Park is more intimate, and actually located in the District, where the team plays all of their home games, instead of a vast wasteland in suburban Maryland.

The NHL can add to the pageantry of the festivities by showing the majesty of D.C.’s monuments set against a winter scene.

Unfortunately, the most spectacular venue of all, the National Mall, is out of the question. The expense and logistics to transform “America’s Front Lawn” into a hockey arena for just one day makes the project prohibitive.

Regardless, the Winter Classic in D.C. is now a reality.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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