The Philadelphia Flyers will host the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Ballpark in the 2012 Winter Classic on Jan. 2, the NHL announced on Monday. Citizens Bank Ballpark is the home of the Philadelphia Phillies and continues a relatively new annual tradition of hosting regular-season hockey games in outdoor facilities around the New Year.
This will be the fifth edition of the Winter Classic, which was first played in 2008. This will be the third time that the game has been played in a baseball stadium, with Fenway Park and Wrigley Field hosting the 2009 and 2010 versions. This will be the second time the Flyers have participated in the game and the second straight year that the game will be held in Pennsylvania as last year's game was played at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field.
"The Rangers-Flyers rivalry is one of our very best," said Gary Bettman, NHL Commissioner. "It is only a short distance from Broadway to Broad Street, and over the years, these not-so-neighborly teams have provided an assortment of memorable games. I have every expectation that the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will provide more great moments to remember."
The NHL will surely be hoping for better weather than they got last year, when fear of rain caused the game to be moved from the originally scheduled 1 p.m. start time to 8 p.m.