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.