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NHL hopes bigger makes Winter Classic better when Red Wings and Maple Leafs meet at Big House

Tuesday, 12.31.2013 / 3:45 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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NHL hopes bigger makes Winter Classic better when Red Wings and Maple Leafs meet at Big House

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The NHL is hoping bigger is better at its Winter Classic.

The league has been playing a game outdoors since 2008, but this time it expects a whole lot more fans.

The NHL says 105,500 tickets have been sold for Wednesday's game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

If that many fans brave temperatures in the teens on a snowy afternoon, it will be a record. In the same football stadium, known as the Big House, Michigan and Michigan State set a hockey attendance record of 104,173 in 2010.

An average of 53,045 spectators watched the first five Winter Classics. The average temperature has been 39 degrees.

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff