|Image from Chicago Tribune|
The details unfurled as expected, with Notre Dame set to face Miami (Ohio) and Minnesota playing Wisconsin in the first hockey games at Soldier Field. Starting times and broadcast details are undetermined.
This, however, remains completely clear: the Chicago Park District's vision of the Hockey City Classic smoothing the ice for an NHL Winter Classic game featuring the Blackhawks. Losing the 2009 event to Wrigley Field was a keen disappointment, and football stadiums will have hosted half of the six Winter Classic games after the 2013 edition at Michigan Stadium.
"Do I think this could pave the way to a future NHL (Winter Classic)? I certainly think so," Park District general superintendent and CEO Michael Kelly said. "I think we're going to pack this place. I think this, at least for one day, will rival a Bears game. I could easily see 57,000, 62,000 people in this stadium going nuts."
Two weeks of public events will precede the doubleheader, including two days of free public skating. For Soldier Field turf aficionados, yes, the ice sheet will kill the grass beneath it. But a March re-sodding is already in the budget.A couple things.
First, it appears that Notre Dame knows someone at Soldier Field. Besides their hockey team playing here in 2012, their football team will also face off against the Miami Hurricanes in the Sloop on October 6th.
Second, it's going to be fun to do some public skating on the frozen tundra of Soldier Field. I will warn you though...if I have the chance, I'm going to lay someone out just so I can understand what Urlacher feels like.
(Hat tip: K-PAX!)