TORONTO - Toronto Mayor John Tory says he hopes a renovated BMO Field will help bring the Winter Classic to the city.
"I consider Toronto to be the world capital of hockey and I think it's time, now that they've proven the success and appeal of having the Winter Classic, that we should have it in our city," Tory told reporters Friday during a tour of BMO Field, currently nearing the end of the first phase of a $120-million-plus renovation.
"So it will be something that I'll be trying to go after because I think it's appropriate we get it here as soon as we possibly can. So we'll engage in discussions with the NHL about that."
Toronto is considered a likely site for the 2017 Winter Classic, and perhaps the all-star game as well, given the Leafs' 100-year anniversary that year.
Commissioner Gary Bettman has said the NHL is in discussions about appropriate ways to celebrate the 100th anniversary of both the Leafs and the league, as well as Canada's 150th anniversary.
Even with the BMO Field expansion, Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke said some 8,000 temporary seats will have to be installed to bring the total to 40,000 for a Winter Classic.