Flyers in 2015 Winter Classic? You'll know soon

Flyers in 2015 Winter Classic? You'll know soon
April 23, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Gary Bettman said on Tuesday that the NHL will announce "probably in the next few weeks" who will play the Capitals in the 2015 Winter Classic. (AP)

We already know that the 2015 Winter Classic will be hosted by the Washington Capitals.

The Flyers and Boston Bruins, two sources told in September, were the finalists to meet the Caps at either Nationals Stadium or FedEx Field.

Since then, most indications were that the Flyers would be the opponent, but the NHL has not made an announcement. It is, however, coming soon.

“Probably in the next few weeks,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said on Tuesday night before Game 3 of the Flyers-Rangers series.

“We hope to be in a position to announce what we’re doing outdoors next season in its entirety, instead of doing it piecemeal, and that is a work in progress, but that’s something that we hope in the next few weeks we’ll be in a position to do.”

The Flyers met the Bruins at Fenway Park in 2010 and they also hosted the Rangers at Citizens Bank Park in 2012. This would be their third appearance.

At his Tuesday news conference, Bettman was asked whether he sees any danger in watering down the Winter Classic given the greatly-expanded schedule of outdoor games played this past regular season.

“No,” Bettman replied. “It’s a great question, but if you think about it, this year we did six games, that’s out of 1,230 regular-season games. We did five locations because New York, New Jersey presented some challenges, because we wanted all three teams involved in some way.

“The fact is our teams, our fans, our broadcasters can’t get enough of these games, and while there may be last year a half a dozen games on national television in the U.S. and Canada, the fact is within the markets we are up 35,000 people who bought tickets for them. Six sold out stadiums; fans love the event.”

Bettman said he doubted whether the league would approve doing six outdoor games again, but it will continue the Stadium Series around the staging of the main Winter Classic.

“We’re going to continue doing it because the demand is there and in part, if you’re a team and you want to be in more than one, you don’t want to have to wait 10 years or so to do it again, and that’s part of the issue,” Bettman said.

“So the stadium series enables us to give more of our fans, more of our teams, the experience.”

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