24 April 2010
Newsday reported today that Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, is getting closer to being selected to host the Classic in 2011 or later. Gary Bettman told reporters that "the Wilpon family ‘has been extremely interested and aggressive' in bringing the annual New Year's Day outdoor game to Citi Field."
The idea that Citi field could host the Winter Classic originated after Yankee Stadium was eliminated from contention, due to the newly created Pinstripe Bowl that will be played at the stadium in December.
According to the Newsday piece the driving force behind the game being held at Citi Field is NHL chief operating officer, John Collins. "[It's] a great ballpark and in many respects, as the commissioner said, the 100-year-old ballparks have charm, but there are challenges. Citi Field's got great sightlines, very vertical as opposed to some of the other baseball stadiums and ballparks we've looked at, so it's a great venue."
Although the news comes as a present surprise in all likelihood the Winter Classic will not be held at the state of the art stadium for at least another year. Reports are that the 2011 Classic will be a battle of the stars, Alex Ovechkin vs. Sidney Crosby, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
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