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Wild Brass Thrilled For Stadium Series

by Kelly Erickson / Minnesota Wild

For years Minnesota Wild fans have pined for an outdoor game. Well, the long awaited news broke earlier today that the team is headed outside.



Next season the Wild will host the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium as part of the 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series on Sunday, Feb. 21.

“We are thrilled to finally have a Stadium Series game here for the great fans of the State of Hockey,” Wild Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said. “It’s been a long time coming and yet we’ve all earned it together. So Feb. 21 of 2016, we’ll have a heck of a celebration.”

The Wild has been working for several years at building the profile worthy of a team that gets awarded the opportunity to play outdoors, Majka noted. For Minnesota to have finally achieved that is an important recognition by the National Hockey League.

“This is so much about the sentiment, passion and heritage of the sport in this state,” Majka said. “We feel like it is just as much for all our fans and all our customers who have supported us through the years as it for our team and franchise.”

The NHL previously made it clear that it wanted the Wild to be more competitive in order to be highlighted in an outdoor game, according to Majka. Over the years the Club has gotten stronger, has found its way into the playoffs  — with some success — and has brought in some high-profile players.

“Those are all fair requests,” Majka said. “We’ve checked things off over the years. So here we are. And they were true to their word. They wanted more from us and we brought it.

“I think we got what we deserve now which is a great marquee hockey game in the State of Hockey.”

"Playing outdoors is a part of our culture, a part of our tradition," Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher added. "Today there will be countless kids outdoors playing on ponds. It's what we do naturally. It's a very authentic environment. It's something people love to do. To play in a big stadium like that with the Blackhawks — we have a great rivalry with them. There's a lot of history and a lot of passion that will surround the game in and of itself, but again outdoor hockey is part of our blood in Minnesota."

The Wild has been working for several years at building the profile worthy of a team that gets awarded the opportunity to play outdoors, Majka noted. For Minnesota to have finally achieved that is an important recognition by the National Hockey League.

Wild brass has attended numerous outdoor games in the past, according to Majka, taking notes along the way. As a result, they have a vision and though there’s some work to do, there’s plenty of time with the countdown officially on. Majka also noted that the Wild will be working on other events surrounding the game and the unique setting to make it a full celebration of the State of Hockey that will hopefully last longer than one day.

The Feb. 21, 2016 matchup will be one of three outdoor games next season. Boston and Montreal will face off at Gillette Stadium on Jan. 1 in the Bridgestone Winter Classic. Colorado will play host to Detroit in the second Stadium Series tilt, at Coors Field on Feb. 27.

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