January 3 Philadelphia Daily News:
“The Flyers might not have to wait too long to get another crack at the Winter Classic, after all.
Citing league sources, ESPN.com’s Pierre LeBrun – a well-connected commentator on CBC’s “Hockey Night in Canada” – said on the air after Saturday’s Winter Classic matchup in Pittsburgh that Philadelphia’s Lincoln Financial Field is the “front-runner” to host next year’s game.
The Flyers lost to the Bruins last New Year’s Day at Boston’s Fenway Park. Pittsburgh hosted Saturday’s game at Heinz Field just 3 years after skating in the inaugural Winter Classic in Buffalo.
Comcast-Spectacor president Peter Luukko said yesterday that the Flyers had not yet been contacted by the NHL.
“We have not been contacted by the league,” Luukko said. “We would certainly like to play a game in Philly next year or in the future.”
The Flyers and Eagles have a healthy working relationship. Eagles senior vice president Pamela Browner White said yesterday that the team was not aware of the report. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. The NHL does not usually announce next year’s site until the league schedule is unveiled in June or July. A league source said the NHL will collectively exhale this week after dodging the weather bullet for the outdoor game for the fourth straight year.
It seems to make sense that the NHL could be interested in the Flyers to host their next premier regular-season game: The Flyers are a successful, big-market team with a supportive fan base; they produce record ratings on television; the NHL prefers football stadiums to baseball venues; and weather has proven to not be the ultimate obstacle.”
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