Another game has fallen off the NHL schedule. The National Hockey League announced today that it was cancelling the Winter Classic due to the ongoing lockout.
The Winter Classic, an annual outdoor hockey game, was scheduled to take place on New Year’s Day in Ann Arbor’s Michigan Stadium. The Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings would have taken the ice in front of more than 100,000 people.
USA Today reports that the Hockeytown Winter Festival, a two-week event in mid-December, will also be canceled.
NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said:
“The logistical demands for staging events of this magnitude made today’s decision unavoidable. We simply are out of time. We are extremely disappointed, for our fans and for all those affected, to have to cancel the Winter Classic and Hockeytown Winter Festival events. We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan.”
The NHL said that the next Winter Classic will be held in the same location with the same teams. Fans have the option of getting a refund for this year’s game or keeping their ticket for the 2014 outdoor game.
Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard told ESPN:
“It’s definitely very disappointing. Not only was I looking forward to it but so were all my friends and family. It was going to be a great event not just for us but all the businesses and hotels and fans excited to see us and Toronto play.”
The NHL has already cancelled all of the games through November.