Move over Chicago Bears, Soldier Field will be playing host to the Chicago Blackhawks in 2014. The rumors have been swirling around for some time now, but it’s been made official early on Wednesday as the NHL announced expansion of their outdoor game package beyond the Winter Classic.
The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field on March 1, 2014 at 7PM, so it will be prime time viewing.
“Our fans and our teams love outdoor games,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “The Chicago game, at Soldier Field, will be a match-up of two recent Stanley Cupchampions at a landmark stadium.”
This won’t be the first trip outdoors for the Blackhawks. They hosted the Detroit Redwings at Wrigley Field back on January 1, 2009. This won’t be the first hockey action that Soldier Field has seen either. Earlier this year, the home of the Chicago Bears hosted the Hockey City Classic in which Notre Dame faced Miami University and Minnesota played Wisconsin.
With the recent lockout, the NHL is trying to bring back the fans and is adding several of the popular games to the outdoor docket, calling it the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. The rest of the games int he series haven’t been made official yet, but here’s a look at the full rumored schedule:
* Jan. 1: Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium, Red Wings vs. Maple Leafs
* Jan. 25: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, Kings vs. Ducks
* Jan. 26: Yankee Stadium in New York, Rangers vs. Devils
* Jan. 29: Yankee Stadium in New York, Rangers vs. Islanders
* Mar. 1: Soldier Field in Chicago, Penguins vs. Blackhawks
* Mar. 2: BC Place in Vancouver, Senators vs. Canucks
I like the matchups in Yankee Stadium leading up to the hype of Super Bowl XLVIII to be played in New York/New Jersey on February 2, 2014. I think an outdoor game played in LA is doomed from the start.
With the regular season records of the Blackhawks and Penguins, this matchup could be a re-match of the Stanley Cup Finals. The Bears head to Pittsburgh this season and will face the Steelers in Prime Time on Sunday Night Football in Week 3 of the upcoming NFL season, so it looks like we’ve got a little rivalry brewing with the Steel City.