The Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins will make National Hockey League history on New Year’s Day, 2008, when they play in the AMP NHL Winter Classic, the League’s first regular-season outdoor game in the United States. The game features several of the game’s greatest young stars, including Penguins center Sidney Crosby and Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller
, and will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the National Football League’s Buffalo Bills.
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Attendance at the contest is expected to surpass the NHL single-game record, set Nov. 22, 2003 when the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers drew 57,167 to The Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton. Ralph Wilson Stadium capacity exceeds 73,000.
Tickets to the AMP NHL Winter Classic will go on sale in the U.S. and Canada on Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m., ET. Tickets may be purchased at all Ticketmaster locations, Ticketmaster.com, as well as on NHL.com, PittsburghPenguins.com and Sabres.com. Tickets also will be available at the Buffalo Bills ticket offices.
“Many of our players have great memories of playing outdoors when they were growing up,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said. “This game provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase our great players, honor hockey’s heritage and ring in the New Year with the best fans in sports.”
Powered by some of the NHL’s top young talent, the Sabres and Penguins enter the 2007-08 season full of optimism. The Sabres, led by the goaltending of Ryan Miller
and boosted by the offense of Thomas Vanek
, captured the Presidents’ Trophy for the best record in the regular season and advanced to their second consecutive Eastern Conference Final. Pittsburgh’s Crosby, who last season amassed 120 points and became the youngest player and only teen-ager ever to win a scoring title in a major North American sports league, captains a lineup that also includes standout forwards Evgeni Malkin and Jordan Staal.
“We are very excited to be participating in the inaugural AMP NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo on New Year’s Day,” said Buffalo Sabres owner Tom Golisano. “Staging this event in Buffalo, in-front of over 70,000 passionate hockey fans, will further demonstrate that Buffalo is one of the greatest hockey cities in the world.”
“The Pittsburgh Penguins are honored to be selected to play in the AMP NHL Winter Classic in Buffalo,” Penguins president David Morehouse said. “We have a lot of young players on our team who aren’t that far removed from skating on outdoor ponds themselves. It’s going to be a great chance to take them back to their roots.”
NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the historic game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. Radio listeners can hear live coverage of the game on all Westwood One affiliates across the U.S. and Canada as well as on XM satellite radio (channel 204).
“NBC Sports is delighted to bring this unique event to hockey fans in the U.S. It promises to be a memorable New Year's Day,” said NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer.
“CBC is thrilled to once again broadcast another historic event,” said Sherali Najak, executive producer, CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. “The excitement surrounding CBC’s broadcast of the first NHL outdoor game in Canada in 2003 was incredible and we are expecting the same energy and passion for this game as well. Hockey Night in Canada is known around the world for broadcasting big time event television - we are anticipating this event to be just that.”
"RDS is pleased to bring this spectacular outdoor event to its French-speaking viewers," said Gerry Frappier, RDS President. "Our hockey fans will truly have an exciting and unique way to bring in the New Year by watching a great match-up in such a grandiose setting."
AMP Energy is the official energy drink of the NHL and title sponsor of the event.
“We’re making history with a game that is sure to generate great interest and excitement,” said Ralph Santana, VP of sports, media and interactive marketing, Pepsi-Cola North America. “The incredible energy, power and speed of hockey will be on display, making this event a perfect fit for AMP Energy.”
AMP Energy is a product of the Purchase, N.Y.-based Pepsi-Cola North America (www.pepsi.com
), the refreshment beverage unit of PepsiCo, Inc., in the United States and Canada. Pepsi-Cola North America’s other brands include Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Aquafina, Sierra Mist, IZZE, SoBe, Mug, Tropicana Twister Soda, Tropicana Juice Drinks, Dole and Ocean Spray single-serve juices. The company also makes and markets North America's best-selling ready-to-drink iced teas and coffees, respectively, via joint ventures with Lipton and Starbucks.
The National Hockey League, founded in 1917, is the second-oldest of the four major professional team sports leagues in North America. Today, the NHL consists of 30 Member Clubs, each reflecting the League’s international makeup, with players from more than 20 countries represented on team rosters. According to a Simmons Market Research study, NHL fans are younger, more educated, more affluent, and access content through digital means more than any other sport.
The NHL entertains more than 100 million fans each season in-arena and through its partners in national television (VERSUS, NBC, TSN, CBC, RDS, RIS, NASN, NHL Network and HDNet) and radio (Westwood One and XM Radio). Through the NHL Foundation, the League’s charitable arm, the NHL raises money and awareness for Hockey Fights Cancer, Hockey’s All-Star Kids and NHL Diversity, and supports the charitable efforts of all NHL players.
View pricing and the seating chart for the Winter Classic below: