The NHL formally announced Wednesday afternoon that the 2015 NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks will be held at Nationals Park on Jan. 1, 2015, confirming an earlier News4 report.
"The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic has made New Year's Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a league release. "Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C."
On Sept. 23, the Capitals, who were awarded the game last September, will unveil their uniform for the annual outdoor spectacle in an event at the ballpark. Among those in attendance will be Bettman, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis and general manager Brian MacLellan, Blackhawks president/CEO John McDonough and Capitals players Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby.
This will be Washington's second appearance in the Winter Classic, having served as the visitors in 2011 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blackhawks will also participate for the second time after defeating the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in 2009.
"We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation's capital," Leonsis said in a statement. "We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the NHL Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game."
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