One of the coolest traditions the NHL has adopted is the annual Winter Classic.
The first Winter Classic was held on January 1, 2008, and since it’s conception, it has grown in size and popularity.
Back on that date in 2008, the Buffalo Sabres played the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
71,217 fans jammed in to watch. At the time, that was the biggest crowd to ever witness a hockey game. That record was later shattered when two of the original six teams, the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs, played in front of over 105,000 spectators at the 2014 Winter Classic in Ann Arbor.
The 2020 version of the Winter Classic could flirt with an attendance record as well.
Where is the 2020 Winter Classic?
This year’s game is being played deep in the heart of Texas at the legendary Cotton Bowl. Known best for historical football games, this will be the first time NHL hockey – or hockey at any level – will be played in the nearly 90-year-old stadium.
Will this game set a new record for attendance? Well, it could come close. The Cotton Bowl has a stated capacity of 92,100. However, that does not include the floor area where some additional fans can purchase tickets.
Already more than 84,000 tix sold for Winter Classic and could get to 85K. More than 20K coming from Nashville which per NHL is the highest they’ve ever seen from a visiting fanbase.
— Sean Shapiro (@seanshapiro) December 27, 2019
It was reported that over 84,000 tickets have been purchased for the game as of December 27.
Who is playing in the 2020 NHL Winter Classic?
This year the Dallas Stars will host the Nashville Predators in the NHL Winter Classic.
Dallas, who is in third place in the Central Division, will head into this game on a 2-game winning streak. The opposite can be said for the Predators.
Nashville has lost their last two games and they currently hold the No. 6 spot in the Central.
This is the first time for either team to hit the great outdoors and play in front of a massive crown in the annual event. The only other teams yet to participate in an outdoor game are Arizona, Carolina, Columbus, Florida, Tampa Bay, and the Vegas Golden Knights.
Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET and can be seen live nationally on NBC. The game will also stream live via the NBC Sports App and on FuboTV.