The NHL has yet to officially confirm the 2012 Winter Classic which is scheduled to take place at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park, home of MLB’s Phillies.
The holdup, at this point, is still unknown -- despite anticipation for an official announcement the last few weeks.
As noted by Chuck Gormely of the Courier-Post earlier this month, coordinating games at Citizens Bank Park for Penn State’s men’s hockey team and the AHL’s outdoor game, as well as scheduling Winter Classic activities could be factors: “Since the Wells Fargo Center will have an open date on Jan. 2, the Flyers are considering opening the building and its adjacent parking lot for a daylong festival that will kick off a week of hockey-related activities.”
Whether the issue involves tickets, seating or other activities, specifics between the League and the stadium still need to be worked out.
For now, the waiting will continue for the game scheduled on Jan. 2; but, as Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski points out, a charity auction by the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation has leaked details of hockey’s regular season headliner that isn’t technically official yet:
Winter Classic Spectacular - Four (4) VIP tickets (with parking) to the 2012 Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012. Package also includes 4 VIP tickets to the 2011 New Year's Eve Alumni Classic and the January 6, 2012 Phantoms game (both played outdoors at Citizens Bank Park). The lucky winner will also receive an autographed Winter Classic jersey from Danny Briere and 4 passes to participate in one of the public skating sessions on the Winter Classic ice.
The auction information not only reveals details of a NHL alumni game, but also the continuation of the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Outdoor Classic between the Adirondack Phantoms and Hershey Bears on Jan. 6.
The first Outdoor Classic, held in 2010 at the New York State Fairgrounds between the Syracuse Crunch and Binghamton Senators, drew over 21,000 fans. The 2011 version between the Connecticut Whale and Providence Bruins was expected to draw as many, but severe weather limited the attendance to less than 16,000.
Sloane Martin is the creator of the women's sports blog Same Size Balls. She is a sports broadcaster and freelance writer. She can be followed on Twitter.