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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

It's about enjoying the moment. It's pretty cool to get that many people together and that excited about hockey to the point they really want you to mess up. They've got a ton of red jerseys and you have to sit back and appreciate people love hockey that much and you are the one out there who gets to play the game. Just try and stick with that respect for the game and also the mentality that for me it's just about entering the fight and seeing how long I can stay in it.

— Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller on what he expects from the fans in Calgary for Game 6