Outdoor Hockey: NHL Winter Classic at Big House, GLI at Comerica Park
The Big Chill at the Big House

Feb. 9, 2012

• Press Conference: Video Report | Photo Gallery

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan Athletic Department made a pair of historic announcements on Thursday (Feb. 9): the hosting of the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium and the men's ice hockey team's participation in the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational outdoors at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Michigan has rented the Big House to the National Hockey League for the 2013 Winter Classic featuring two Original Six members, the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, on New Year's Day. The game will be broadcast nationally by NBC Sports on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.

"We are excited to provide the NHL with use of our beautiful Michigan Stadium for the Winter Classic," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics. "This will be a way for hockey fans around the globe to experience Michigan Stadium and the University of Michigan. This event will have a significant positive economic impact on the Ann Arbor community and the state of Michigan."

During the afternoon announcement at the Big House, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman will present Brandon with a $250,000 check from NHL Charities for the general scholarship fund at the University of Michigan.

The U-M Board of Regents authorized Brandon to enter into a contract with the NHL on Wednesday (Feb. 8) during a special session of the board. The athletic department and University worked with the NHL to finalize the deal. The agreement was approved and the contract was signed late Wednesday.

This will be the second time in three years that the Big House will host an outdoor hockey game. Michigan hosted rival Michigan State in the "Big Chill at the Big House" on Dec. 11, 2010, with the Wolverines defeating the Spartans, 5-0, before a Guinness Book of World Records crowd of 104,173 fans at Michigan Stadium.

In addition, the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) announced that the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational between Christmas and New Year's will be played outdoors at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers. The Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Tech Huskies and Western Michigan Broncos will play in the 48th annual GLI.

"Playing the GLI at Comerica Park will provide a truly unique event for fans and our players," said Michigan head coach Red Berenson. "We've obviously played in outdoor games in the past but never in a tournament format like this. I would expect it to be a great experience for everyone involved."

"Playing the GLI outdoors at Comerica Park will present a great experience for our players and fans," said Brandon. "This will be an exciting event for the city of Detroit, and to have four of the top in-state collegiate hockey programs participate is special."

Michigan has won the past two Great Lakes Invitational titles and has claimed 15 championships overall. The Wolverines have won the title four of the past five seasons.

NHL Press Release

Media Contact: David Ablauf, Rob Tillotson (734) 763-4423

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