While rumors had surfaced a few weeks ago about the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic, it was just officially announced that the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will be playing at Notre Dame Stadium January 1, 2019.
One of NCAA’s most prestigious stadiums will get the #WinterClassic treatment.
— NHL (@NHL) November 18, 2017
Bruins and Blackhawks to Play 2019 Winter Classic at Notre Dame Stadium
Both teams are no strangers to the outdoor tradition. This will be the third time the Boston Bruins participate in the Winter Classic. They hosted the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 at Fenway Park and then hosted the Montreal Canadiens in 2016 at Gillette Stadium. This is a league-most 4th appearance for the Chicago Blackhawks. They hosted the Detroit Red Wings in 2009 at Wrigley Field, played the Washington Capitals in 2015 at Nationals Park, and most recently played the St. Louis Blues in 2017 at Busch Stadium.
NHL commissioner Gary Bettman stated in the league’s press release, “The Blackhawks and Bruins, two of our most historic franchises, will be meeting outdoors for the first time at the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Notre Dame Stadium, with its capacity approaching 80,000, will provide an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event and will host the largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams. Both teams seem very excited for the opportunity to take the game outdoors once again.”
Chicago’s president and CEO, John McDonough, stated, “The Chicago Blackhawks are honored to be participating in this marquee event at an iconic venue like Notre Dame Stadium. The University of Notre Dame has strong alumni roots in both Chicago and Boston, and, with an established rivalry between the Blackhawks and Bruins, fans will be treated to an exciting game in a unique atmosphere. We appreciate the invitation to the game and look forward to what will be a great day for both franchises and the National Hockey League.”
Bruins’ President Cam Neely stated, “The Boston Bruins are excited to be playing in the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic against another storied Original Six franchise, the Chicago Blackhawks. The rich history of Notre Dame Stadium is well documented, and our team looks forward to playing at such an iconic venue. We hope that by participating in these large scale and unique NHL events we can bring Bruins fans new hockey experiences and that we can use these opportunities to help grow our great game and attract new fans.”
While there is no denying the rich history of Notre Dame alone, both teams also have alumni ties to the University. For the Bruins, it is most recently rookie Anders Bjork, who played three seasons at Notre Dame. Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman graduated from Notre Dame in 1995.
These two original six teams have had countless match-ups throughout the years. One of the more recent notable match-ups was the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, in which the Chicago Blackhawks came out on top. This is sure to be a great spectacle and hopefully an entertaining game for the fans and both teams.