The Winter Classic's popularity is clear from the record turnout at previous events. The match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings in 2014 broke the NHL sports leagues attendance record with 105,491 attendees.
Together with the league’s All-Star Game, the Winter Classic is regarded as a pinnacle event. Matches are scheduled to highlight the star teams and players in the league. Because of its popularity, more outdoor hockey games have been scheduled.
Winter Classic’s prize pool
The winner's and runner-ups' prize money are not yet publicly available. However, each player on a team eliminated in the second round receives a cash prize of $20,000. At the same time, the team players that were eliminated in the first round receive a cash prize of $10,000. The final prize money updates will be provided when an official announcement is made. Ticket sales account for almost two-thirds of overall revenue.
Where does the Winter Classic take place?
The inaugural showpiece took place in New York at Highmark Stadium. At the time, the stadium was known as Ralph Wilson Stadium. The venue, however, varies every year. Typically, the NHL announces the next host city a few days after the event concludes. Minnesota’s Target Field is the most recent venue where the 2022 event was held. Fenway Park in New Jersey will host the next event in 2023.
History of the Winter Classic
The Winter Classic debuted in 2008. It was inspired by the success of the Cold War Tournament at Michigan State University in 2001. Also, the Heritage Classic held in 2003 inspired this opening of the regular-season outdoor event by the NHL. It eventually became a yearly ritual for the league.