University of Michigan and NHL try again: 2014 Winter Classic planned for Michigan Stadium
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
During a public meeting Thursday, the U-M Board of Regents unanimously reaffirmed it's decision to allow the NHL to host the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium- this time on Jan. 1, 2014, with a rain date of Jan 2.
The school reaffirmed its previous contract with the NHL, which allows the league to lease Michigan Stadium for up to $3 million. The NHL will require use of the stadium from Dec. 1 until Jan. 2.
It's unclear if the university will have to seek another special liquor license in order for the NHL to serve alcohol at the stadium. Traditionally, serving alcohol at the stadium is prohibited, but through a strategically crafted bill, lawmakers offered a temporary liquor license for the one-day NHL event last year.
The 2013 Winter Classic was set to take place at the Big House on New Year's Day, but was cancelled because of a NHL lockout that shortened the 2012-13 season and ended on Jan. 6, five days after the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs would have taken place.
City and school officials estimated that the event would have a $14 to $15 million impact on the area, with anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 hotel nights booked by visitors.
The NHL is hoping that Michigan Stadium, with a capacity of more than 114,000, can facilitate the largest Winter Classic attendance in history. The world record for attendance at a hockey game is 104,173, a record set at the outdoor game between Michigan and Michigan State in 2010. The NHL also plans on breaking the Michigan Stadium attendance record of 114,804.