Rumors swirling that an Ontario Hockey League doubleheader would be played next winter at Michigan Stadium in conjunction with the NHL’s Winter Classic are “not true,” Associate Athletic Director David Ablauf told the Daily Wednesday morning.
A Tuesday evening tweet from a London, Ont. reporter covering the OHL said that the outdoor doubleheader was confirmed and would be played at the Big House on Dec. 31.
Since then, an OHL source with one of the teams involved informed the Daily that the league is, in fact, planning an outdoor doubleheader. The source went on to name Detroit’s Comerica Park as the most likely venue.
While an official announcement hasn’t been released by either the Athletic Department or the NHL regarding the Winter Classic, the Detroit Free Press confirmed earlier this month that the event would, indeed, be held at the Big House.
A major sticking point remains whether any smaller events will supplement the Winter Classic. It now seems likely that any other games to be played would take place at an auxiliary venue, like Comerica Park.
The speculation is just the latest in the outdoor frenzy sweeping all levels of hockey. Just two weeks ago, the Michigan hockey team faced off against Ohio State at Progressive Field in Cleveland for the Frozen Diamond Faceoff. Last year, Michigan Stadium hosted The Big Chill at the Big House, an event that smashed professional hockey attendance records. In that game, the Wolverines shutout Michigan State, 5-0.