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by Staff Writer / Buffalo Sabres
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.

“A unique event deserves a unique venue, and we are delighted the Bruins and Flyers will renew their rivalry with the ‘Green Monster’ providing the backdrop,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “We welcome our fans, our teams, our sponsors and the great city of Boston to this annual celebration of our sport.”

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 The 2009 event at Chicago’s Wrigley Field drew 41,818 to the historic ballpark, with demand for tickets exceeding 240,000.

“The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic has become a huge annual event in the sports world, which provides great exposure for our Bridgestone Brand,” said John Baratta, President, Consumer Replacement Tire Sales, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, (BATO).  “Having this year’s Winter Classic in Fenway Park, one of the truly iconic venues in sports, will only add to the excitement level and fan interest surrounding this year’s event.  We can’t wait for the puck to drop.”

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.

These two cities have a long and contentious sports rivalry, with the Flyers earning their first Stanley Cup™ in 1974 against the Bruins, the Celtics and 76ers battling in the NBA Playoffs of 1981 and 1982 and the Patriots-Eagles showdown at the 2005 Super Bowl, making for a classic match-up on New Year’s Day.

“Landing the Winter Classic here is something that we have worked hard to achieve for our fans for quite some time." said owner of the Boston Bruins and Chairman of the NHL Board of Governors Jeremy Jacobs. "In Boston, we have been home to more than our fair share of great sports moments… too many to list. But there is no doubt that on New Year’s Day 2010, we will be adding another indelible memory to that long list.”

“On behalf of our Chairman Ed Snider, and the entire Philadelphia Flyers organization, 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 Winter Classic at Fenway Park.”

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).

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 will provide extensive digital video coverage.  

More details on the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic, including ticket sales information will be announced soon.

“On behalf the entire Boston Red Sox organization I want to express our sincere thanks to the National Hockey League and the Boston Bruins for selecting Fenway Park as the site for the 2010 Bridgestone/NHL Winter Classic,” said John Henry, Principal Owner, Boston Red Sox.  “From the day we arrived at Fenway Park, our ownership group has been committed to preserving and protecting this historic venue, and we have taken extraordinary steps to ensure it can serve fans for generations to come.  We have been equally as committed to promoting all that is good and unique about Fenway Park, and this is an exciting opportunity to open the ballpark to fans, neighbors, and the City.  We can’t wait to see Fenway Park full of people and energy in December and January.” ? ?

“The players of the Boston Bruins and the Philadelphia Flyers are extremely excited to participate in an outdoor game within the confines of historic Fenway Park,” said Paul Kelly, NHLPA Executive Director. “This is special for the players, getting a chance to reconnect with their roots by playing the game outdoors. I am sure that this event will be something that they will all remember as a highlight in their careers.”

"I'm thrilled to welcome the NHL Winter Classic to Boston,"  Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. "Hockey is a global game, and Boston is a global city. The NHL Winter Classic will be more than a great hockey game. It will be a celebration that attracts fans from around the world and showcases the people, culture, and local businesses that make our city special. The Bruins - an original six team - have once again made Boston the hub of hockey, and I can't wait to experience the NHL Winter Classic with the most passionate fans in the country."
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