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In an article from Friday's Post about how hard Capitals owner Ted Leonsis has worked to get his team into the NHL Winter Classic, this fun tidbit about the machinations behind the expected arrival of the outdoor New Years Day game in DC (or Baltimore) in 2013 or 2014:
"Another advocate for a D.C. venue is Nationals President Stan Kasten, who confirmed his team is prepared to make a hard charge to put on the Winter Classic. That aggressive bid will be led by Mark Lerner, a minority owner of the Capitals whose family owns the Nationals. Kasten said the Nationals have already made a detailed presentation to the NHL, complete with schematics showing where the rink would be placed. Kasten also said officials from the league paid Nationals Park a visit earlier this year when Washington was being considered for the 2011 game.
"'Let's face it, Nationals Park is the premier venue in the most important city in the world,' Kasten said. 'I can't imagine it being anywhere but Nationals Park.'"
The article also quotes NHL league commissioner Gary Bettman, on being asked if the connection of Nationals owner Mark Lerner to the Capitals (he's a minority owner) helps the case for Nats Park: "It certainly doesn't hurt."
The article does say, though, that the NHL prefers football stadiums, since they can hold more fans. Nationals Park would hold about 42,000, while FedEx Field has nearly 92,000 seats for Redskins games.
(There's also a bit more detail in a Thursday Capitals Insider blog post.)
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Froggie says: (6/4/10 1:19 PM)
I hope they can land it here by 2014...tickets would be mondo expensive, but it'd be an awesome experience...


BD says: (6/4/10 1:44 PM)
Doubt this will happen. I don't think they could have reliable, quality ice to put an NHL game on display outside down here, as fun as it would be. Otherwise the Caps/Pens game would have been done down here next year. Temps are far too finicky.


Pat says: (6/5/10 1:32 PM)
Temps have nothing to do with it. They had an exhibition game in a Vegas parking lot in 92.

I personally would rather have it at Nats Park than FedEx Field (which would truly be a shame, dump doesn't even begin to describe that place), but I really want it at RFK.

I would say the chances are fairly good the Caps will land a Winter Classic.


JD says: (6/5/10 3:55 PM)
There is a little difference from the Vegas game, though, because this is a regular season game that "counts" (as much as any game in January "counts" in the NHL ;-) ), so they need something approaching standard conditions. And the temp in DC on New Years Day can be anything from 0 to 70 (having lived through many of them over the years!).

On the other hand, having been in the Cap Centre for a few playoff games in the late 80s in April or May when it was 80+ degrees outside and fog started to form inside the building because of the difference between the air and ice temps, it's safe to say that inside temps haven't always been optimal, either!


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