PHILADELPHIA FLYERS TO FACE-OFF AGAINST NEW YORK RANGERS
OUTDOORS AT CITIZENS BANK PARK IN FIFTH ANNUAL
BRIDGESTONE NHL WINTER CLASSIC ON JANUARY 2
Event To Be Broadcast Live On NBC in U.S., CBC & RDS In Canada At 1 p.m. ET
COMCAST-SPECTACOR TO CELEBRATE WITH
WEEK-LONG SERIES OF EVENTS AT CITIZENS BANK PARK
Philadelphia, Pa. – September 26, 2011 –
The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will face off on a national stage when the two teams clash outdoors at Citizens Bank Park in the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Monday, January 2 at 1 p.m.
"The NHL Winter Classic is arguably the biggest game played during the NHL's regular season and it is a wonderful platform to feature our great sport to millions of worldwide viewers," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman and Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider. "It's an honor for the Philadelphia Flyers to serve as ambassadors for the NHL. We look forward to hosting the Winter Classic in Philadelphia and showcasing our great city to hockey fans throughout North America."
“This is a tremendous honor to once again be participating in this historic event, and what makes it even more special is to be playing the game in Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “I know our fans will make this one of the most celebrated Winter Classics ever. We look forward to extending the Philadelphia-New York rivalry when we face-off against the Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.”
The 43,500-seat ballpark will be the setting for the fifth-ever Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which will feature several of the biggest names in hockey. The Flyers boast an All-Star roster that includes two Hart Trophy winners – Chris Pronger
and Jaromir Jagr
– and key members of the team that won the 2010 Eastern Conference championship, including Danny Briere
, Claude Giroux
and Scott Hartnell
. The Rangers counter with NHL All-Stars of their own in goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, forward Marian Gaborik, defenseman Marc Staal and 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Brad Richards.
Division rivals since the 1974–75 season, the Rangers and Flyers become the closest geographic rivals to compete in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The on-ice familiarity stems from the fact that the Rangers are the Flyers’ all-time most-common opponent in the regular-season (261 games) and Stanley Cup playoffs series (10). While the teams last squared off in the playoffs in 1997, on the final day of the 2009-10 regular-season, the Flyers and Rangers played an historic “winner takes all” game to determine the lone remaining playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Tied 1-1 at the end of overtime, the Flyers prevailed in a shootout, starting their march to the conference championship.
The 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic continues the tradition the NHL has established of hosting a regular-season game outdoors at the onset of the new year to celebrate the origin and traditions of hockey. Last season, the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field on New Year’s Day 2011, the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day 2009 and the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day 2008. There were two additional regular-season outdoor NHL games played in Canada when the Calgary Flames hosted the Montreal Canadiens during the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium in 2011 and the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003.
“We are honored that the NHL has chosen Citizens Bank Park as the venue for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic,” said Phillies President David Montgomery. “We eagerly await January 2nd when our Philadelphia Flyers host the New York Rangers. It will surely be a great experience for fans.”
The Bridgestone brand, the Official Tire of the NHL® and the NHLPA, returns for the fourth consecutive year as title sponsor of the event.
For the second consecutive year, the NHL will partner with HBO Sports and its groundbreaking “24/7” reality franchise. As it did with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals last year, the four-episode, all-access series will again provide viewers an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at both teams, along with in-depth interviews of players, coaches and front-office personnel as the teams compete during the NHL regular-season, including a Dec. 23rd matchup between the teams at Madison Square Garden. The premiere episode debuts in prime time, Wednesday, Dec. 14, at 10 p.m. ET, with new episodes debuting each successive Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.
Select 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic merchandise will be available at retail immediately. Men’s, women’s and youth t-shirts, hats, pucks, mini sticks, and other novelties will be available at the Majestic Clubhouse Store inside Citizens Bank Park™, the Philadelphia Flyers team store at the Wells Fargo Center, the NHL Store Powered by Reebok in New York City, and at shop.NHL.com. Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 27, official merchandise will be available at participating Dick’s Sporting Goods, Modell’s Sporting Goods, Macy's, JC Penney and Sports Authority store locations throughout the greater Philadelphia and New York City areas.
In addition to the Flyers hosting the Rangers at Citizens Bank Park, the Philadelphia Flyers Alumni will meet the New York Rangers Alumni on Saturday, December 31 at 1 p.m.; and the Adirondack Phantoms, the Flyers' American Hockey League affiliate, will host the Hershey Bears at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, January 6 at 7 p.m. Comcast-Spectacor is also planning additional events at Citizens Bank Park during the week. Ticket information for the Alumni game and the Phantoms game will be announced shortly, as will additional events.
* * *
Comcast-Spectacor (comcast-spectacor.com) is the Philadelphia-based sports and entertainment company which owns the Philadelphia Flyers (NHL), the Philadelphia 76ers (NBA), the home for both teams, the Wells Fargo Center, and four Flyers Skate Zone community ice skating and hockey rinks. In addition, Comcast-Spectacor is also the principal owner of Global Spectrum, the fastest growing firm in the public assembly management field with more than 100 facilities throughout the United States and Canada; Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage service provider; New Era Tickets, a ticketing and marketing company for public assembly facilities; Front Row Marketing Services, a commercial rights sales company; and Paciolan, the leading provider of venue enablement, ticketing, fundraising and marketing technology solutions. In a partnership with Disson Skating, Comcast-Spectacor annually produces 10 nationally televised figure skating spectaculars on NBC.