Winter Classic latest casualty of NHL lockout
November 2, 2012, 2:27 pm
The NHL’s annual Winter Classic has become a wildly successful and popular New Year’s Day event. Now, it’s the latest casualty in this lockout.
The 2013 Winter Classic, which would have pit the Detroit Red Wings against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium, was officially canceled on Friday afternoon. The Hockeytown Winter Festival, which was slated for Dec. 16-3 at Comerica Park in Detroit, was also canceled.
Deputy commissioner Bill Daly, in a statement, 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.”
The league said the Winter Classic had to be canceled because there’s still no new collective bargaining agreement and the league “was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude.” More than 400,000 people, according to the league, would’ve likely been in the Detroit/Ann Arbor area for the Hockeytown Festival and Winter Classic.
“We look forward to bringing the next Winter Classic and the Hockeytown Winter Festival to Michigan,” Daly added in the statement.
NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr called the league’s cancellation of the Classic “unnecessary and unfortunate, as was the owners’ implementation of the lockout itself.
“The fact that the season has not started is a result of a unilateral decision by the owners; the players have always been ready to play while continuing to negotiate in good faith,” Fehr’s statement continued. “We look forward to the league’s return to the bargaining table, so that the parties can find a way to end the lockout at the earliest possible date, and get the game back on the ice for the fans.”
Ticket refund information for either event is located at nhl.com/winterclassicrefund.
It’s one more cancellation during a lockout that’s seen a few of them already. The league has already canceled regular-season games through Nov. 30.
Tags: Winter Classic
, detroit red wings
, toronto maple leafs
, Chicago Blackhawks
, Michigan Wolverines
, michigan stadium
, nhl lockout