The Philadelphia Flyers won't be the only team in the organization that gets a chance to play outdoors in January -- the Adirondack Phantoms will play at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia just four days later in the Outdoor Classic.
The Phantoms, the Flyers' AHL affiliate, will host the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals' AHL squad, on Friday, Jan. 6 as part the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic festivities. Four days earlier, the Flyers will play host to the New York Rangers in the seventh outdoor game in NHL history.
"This is an extremely exciting day for the Phantoms organization and Phantoms fans everywhere," said Phantoms President Rob Brooks. "A hockey celebration and atmosphere unlike anything the AHL has ever seen will happen at Citizens Bank Park. We are extremely grateful to (Comcast-Spectacor President) Peter Luukko for helping make this truly great event a reality."
This is the fifth NHL Winter Classic but the first ever to also feature an AHL outdoor game as part of the festivities.
"The American Hockey League has a strong following in the region and it will be a terrific experience for Pennsylvania hockey fans as the historic Phantoms-Bears rivalry is renewed outdoors at Citizens Bank Park," said David Andrews, AHL President and Chief Executive Officer.
"We are thrilled to join with the Philadelphia Flyers in adding AHL hockey to their outdoor showcase."
The Phantoms and Bears will also wear specially designed jerseys honoring the significance of the Outdoor Classic, similar to the fantastic jerseys the NHL teams have worn in their Winter Classic games.
"This will be a terrific opportunity for hockey fans throughout Philadelphia to see the future prospects of the Flyers in a truly unique setting," said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. "We're very excited to add a Phantoms regular season game to our week-long celebration of the Winter Classic being in Philadelphia. We look forward to working with both (owners) Rob and Jim Brooks in bringing the Phantoms back to Philadelphia for this truly special night."
This will be the third outdoor game in AHL history; The Syracuse Crunch hosted the Binghamton Senators on Feb. 20, 2010 at the New York State Fairgrounds in front of 21,508 fans. The Connecticut Whale hosted the Providence Bruins on Feb. 19, 2011 at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn., breaking the league's attendance record with 21,673.
"It is exciting to have a chance to break the league attendance record," Brooks said. "In fact, that is our goal and we absolutely believe it will happen. Fans will want to be there just to soak in the magical atmosphere and to be a part of history."
Citizens Bank Park is the major league baseball home of the Philadelphia Phillies and will have a seating capacity of approximately 40,000.
Details on how to purchase tickets for the Outdoor Classic will be available soon.