Nov. 2, 2012
NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The National Hockey League announced Friday (Nov. 2) the cancellation of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic that was slated to be held at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1, 2013. The NHL's decision was necessary because, given the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL, the league was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage an event of this magnitude.
The NHL also cancelled the Sirius XM Hockeytown Winter Festival that was to include the Great Lakes Invitational played outdoors Dec. 27-28 at Comerica Park. Instead, the 48th annual GLI, featuring Michigan, Michigan Tech, Michigan State and Western Michigan, will be moved to Joe Louis Arena on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 29-30.
"This is an unfortunate announcement but one that looked imminent given the current labor situation between the NHL and its players," said Dave Brandon, the Donald R. Shepherd Director of Athletics at the University of Michigan. "We knew this was a possibility, but we stayed prepared in the event the labor dispute would get resolved."
The NHL announced concurrently with the cancellation of the 2013 game that the next Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be held at the Big House.
"Our relationship with the NHL has been terrific," added Brandon. "Both parties have a mutual interest in making the Winter Classic a successful and historic event. We are glad they committed to bring the next game to the Big House, matching the Red Wings and Maple Leafs."
Michigan rented the Big House to the National Hockey League for its annual outdoor hockey game on New Year's Day 2013. The 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was to feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs, Original Six members of the league. Everything will remain intact and shift to the next outdoor game.
Any ticket refunds will be handled directly by the NHL, Red Wings and Maple Leafs.
The GLI semifinals on Dec. 29 will pit Michigan State against Western Michigan 3:30 p.m., followed by Michigan vs. Michigan Tech at 7 p.m. The third-place and championship games are scheduled for 3:30 and 7 p.m., respectively, on Dec. 30.
Media Contact: David Ablauf (734) 763-4423