NEW YORK (November 18, 2017) - The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will feature the Chicago Blackhawks® and Boston Bruins® outdoors on Jan. 1, 2019 at Notre Dame Stadium, home of the University of Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today.
The New Year's Day matchup will be Chicago's fourth NHL Winter Classic appearance and Boston's third. The Chicago Blackhawks previous appearances in the NHL Winter Classic include the 2009 NHL Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field (6-4 loss); a road trip to play the Washington Capitals in 2015 at Nationals Park (3-2 loss); and a matchup against the St. Louis Blues in 2017 at Busch Stadium (4-1 loss). The Boston Bruins were the home club in their two NHL Winter Classic games; a 2-1 overtime win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park in 2010 and a 5-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough.
"The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. "Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."
The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be broadcast live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports. Additional details including game time, ticket information and other events surrounding the game will be announced in the coming months and available at NHL.com/WinterClassic2019. NHL Social™ will have exclusive coverage on all social platforms using the hashtag NHL #WinterClassic.
"The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium," said John McDonough, President & CEO of the Chicago Blackhawks. "The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League."
"The Boston Bruins are excited to be playing in the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic against another storied Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks," said Bruins President Cam Neely. "The rich history of Notre Dame Stadium is well documented, and our team looks forward to playing at such an iconic venue. We hope that by participating in these large scale and unique NHL events we can bring Bruins fans new hockey experiences, and that we can use these opportunities to help grow our great game and attract new fans."
The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will showcase a host of the top talent in the NHL. The Blackhawks boast NHL All-Stars, captain Jonathan Toews, Corey Crawford, Patrick Kane, and Duncan Keith, who have been a core of their three recent Stanley Cup Championships (2009-10, 2012-13, 2014-15). Four Bruins players remain from the team that faced off both against the Flyers at Fenway Park in 2010 and the Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2016: captain Zdeno Chara, forward Patrice Bergeron, forward David Krejci, and goaltender Tuukka Rask. All four players won a Stanley Cup with Boston in 2010-11. In addition, Bruins rookie Anders Bjork was a 2017 All-American at Notre Dame.
"Notre Dame Stadium is truly one of the iconic sports venues in North America, and will provide a unique and exciting backdrop for the Blackhawks and Bruins players, as well as the tens of thousands of fans," said Don Fehr, NHLPA Executive Director. "We look forward to a great Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year's Day in 2019."
The Original Six™ clubs have had 586 regular-season meetings, with Boston holding a 48-point edge over Chicago since the 1926-1927 season (Chicago 242-263-81-565, Boston 265-238-83-613). They have faced off seven times in the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, five of which the Bruins have won. Most recently, the two clubs met in the Stanley Cup® Final in 2013, where Chicago beat Boston in the series 4-2 when Dave Bolland tallied the game-winning goal at 19:01 in the third period of Game 6 - the latest Stanley Cup® game-winner scored in regulation. The two clubs are scheduled to play a home-and-home series on Saturday, March 10 and Sunday, March 11 in Boston and Chicago, respectively, in a pair of matinee games that will be their only meetings of 2017-18.
The 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® continues the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year. This game will be the eleventh NHL Winter Classic, the first time that the Blackhawks have faced off against the Bruins in an outdoor game, and the fourth Original Six matchup (2009, 2014, 2016). Bridgestone, the Official Tire of the NHL® and NHLPA, returns as title sponsor for the tenth consecutive year. Over the past decade, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® has become a tentpole hockey event on the North American sporting calendar, and Bridgestone will be maintaining their partnership with the League through 2021.
"The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® is the League's marquee outdoor game each season and continues to be an incredible showcase for the sport of hockey and the world's greatest players, who deliver clutch performance when it matters most," said Phil Pacsi, Vice President of Sports/Events Marketing and Training at Bridgestone Americas. "This event is a centerpiece of our strategic, season-long sports calendar that helps Bridgestone strengthen its relationship with passionate hockey fans in North America and around the world. We're excited to celebrate our tenth straight year of this partnership with another historic rivalry at one of the most iconic venues in sports."
The University of Notre Dame was founded in 1842 by Rev. Edward Sorin, C.S.C., with the goal of establishing a great Catholic university in America. On the playing field, the Fighting Irish have been at the forefront, with 28 team national titles. In addition, Notre Dame has led the nation in graduation rates for 11 consecutive years while producing the second-most CoSIDA Academic All-Americans of schools in the NCAA's Football Bowl Subdivision. Notre Dame Stadium celebrated a new era in 2017 with the completion of the Campus Crossroads Project, which extensively renovated the Stadium while adding three new buildings to the physical plant, creating an unprecedented mix of athletics and academics. Opened in 1930, Notre Dame Stadium has played host to nine consensus national championship teams, seven Heisman Trophy winners and dozens of All-Americans.
Both the Blackhawks and the Bruins have ties to the University of Notre Dame. Current Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman graduated from the University in 1995 and the team has held a portion of their training camp at the school's Compton Family Ice Arena four times over the past five years (2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2017-18), while former Boston Bruins forward Dave Poulin played for the Irish from 1978-82 and spent 10 years as head hockey coach at Notre Dame.
"We are very excited to welcome the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and NHL to Notre Dame Stadium for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic," said University of Notre Dame Vice President and James E. Rohr Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick. "I believe it's only fitting that two of the NHL's legendary Original Six teams will take the ice for the first hockey game in one of America's most iconic athletic facilities. Hosting two franchises with so many connections to Notre Dame also provides a unique opportunity to celebrate our hockey legacy."
This year's game will mark the second time the NHL Winter Classic® is being held at a college football stadium, with the iconic New Year's Day game previously held at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor (2014).