The Red Wings will host Original Six rival Toronto Jan. 1, 2013, at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, MI.
The Wings have been selected for the second time in hte NHL’s annual New Years showcase after participating in the ’09 game against the Blackhawks at Wrigley Field. The announcement was delayed as officials were deciding between the Big House, which will guarantee a record-setting crowd topping 110,000, or at Comerica Park, property of Wings owner Mike Ilitch located in Downtown Detroit.
Detroit was an easy selection for the NHL and NBC because of the rich history between the Wings and Maple Leafs.
The appeal of setting an attendance record made Ann Arbor a logical choice. For the spectators and the players, the rectangular set-up of a football field is more aesthetically pleasing that of a baseball stadium.
The speculation was that the event would be announced before next week’s All-Star Game, but the Wings aren’t able to commit to an on-site announcement until the second week of February. Immediately after the All-Star break the Wings travel to Western Canada and Phoenix through Feb. 6, so look for the official announcement right after that.