The NHL confirmed rumors on Wednesday, September 10, and announced that the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park on January 1 at 1 p.m. The game will be hosted by the Washington Capitals, who are set to face off against the Chicago Blackhawks. It is the second appearance in the Winter Classic for both teams. The Capitals were victorious over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2011 Winter Classic, while the Blackhawks fell to the Detroit Red Wings in 2009.
The official location confirmation comes almost exactly two years after Washington, D.C. was announced as the host of the 2015 game. At the time, proposed locations for the game included RFK Stadium, FedEx Field (home of the Washington Redskins), and even the National Mall. While the National Mall would have been a very unique location for a game, it was deemed to be too much of a logistical challenge to actually occur.
The NHL had remained mum for quite a while about the location of the game. Rumors of Nationals Park’s selection emerged on Saturday, September 6, with the Washington Post reporting that a deal had been set to use the stadium for the game. Nationals Park, which seats 41,546, was considered to be the “overwhelming favorite” to host the game.
The Capitals plan to unveil “throwback jerseys” for the game at an event later this month. It is unknown when tickets for the game will be available for purchase.