The National Hockey League's annual outdoor game will return on New Year's Day with the Boston Bruins hosting the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park -- home of the Boston Red Sox -- in the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter ClassicTM. The Eastern Conference rivals will face-off at 1 p.m., ET in the classic, which received the SportsBusiness Journal "Sports Event of the Year" award for its inaugural edition in 2008.
"The NHL Winter Classic is truly a great day for hockey. It has become arguably the biggest game played during the NHL's regular season and offers a tremendous opportunity to showcase our great sport of hockey to millions of worldwide viewers. As one of the League's original expansion teams, it's an honor for the Philadelphia Flyers to serve as ambassadors for the NHL and the City of Philadelphia. And, we are thrilled that our opponent will be one of the original six NHL teams," said Comcast-Spectacor Chairman and Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider.
"We have had many memorable games against the Boston Bruins, including our first Stanley Cup victory; Ron Hextall's first goal, and the day we broke the record for games played without a loss,” added Snider. “New Year's Day 2010 will be another historic day for the Philadelphia Flyers as we face the Bruins at Fenway Park in the NHL's Winter Classic."
The 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic will be the third regular-season outdoor NHL game played in the United States (the Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day 2008, and the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day last season), and the fourth regular-season outdoor game in League history (the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium on Nov. 22, 2003).
“We are honored and thrilled to be participating in this historic and milestone event at Fenway Park,” said Comcast-Spectacor President Peter Luukko. “The Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins have a long and storied history between our two franchises and we look forward to extending that Philadelphia-Boston rivalry when we face-off against each other on New Year’s Day in the NHL’s Winter Classic at Fenway Park.”
"I am certainly familiar with the long history the Flyers have with Boston. It's an honor to have the opportunity to spend New Year's Day renewing the longtime rivalry between these two clubs." - Flyers GM Paul Holmgren
Some of hockey’s brightest stars will be on display at the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic, including the Bruins’ recent NHL Awards winners: Tim Thomas (Vezina Trophy and William M. Jennings Trophy), Zdeno Chara (James Norris Memorial Trophy) and coach Claude Julien (Jack Adams Trophy). The Flyers’ roster boasts marquee talent such as Selke Trophy Finalist Mike Richards, Jeff Carter and the newly acquired Chris Pronger
"We are extremely excited to be participating in this event and I look forward to this match-up against the Bruins," said Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Paul Holmgren. "I am certainly familiar with the long history the Flyers have with Boston. It's an honor to have the opportunity to spend New Year's Day renewing the longtime rivalry between these two clubs."
Bridgestone brand will return as the title sponsor, showcasing its status as the Official Tire of the NHL® and the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) to a broadening viewing audience. Last season’s 2009 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic attracted 5.6 million North American TV viewers and gathered more than 750,000 visitors on NHL.com. The 2009 event at Chicago's Wrigley Field drew 41,818 to the historic ballpark, with demand for tickets exceeding 240,000.
"As of right now, we are still working with the League on our ticket allocation," said Shawn Tilger, senior vice-president of business operations for the Flyers. "As the visiting team, ticket inventory will be limited, but we will do our best to accommodate as many fans as possible. Our plan is to implement a system that gives priority to our season ticket holders."
NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Radio and SIRIUS XM Radio will provide radio coverage and NHL.com will provide extensive digital video coverage.