The NHL celebrated the opening of the Stanley Cup Finals series with an announcement regarding the return of one of its signature events, the NHL Winter Classic. Cancelled in 2021 due to the pandemic, the Winter Classic for next season will take place on January 1, 2022 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Minnesota’s Wild will play in the game, taking on the St. Louis Blues. The Wild and Target Field had been scheduled to host the event on January 1, 2021, but that slate was wiped clean by the pandemic, alongside the All-Star Weekend as the season’s start was delayed. Minnesota has hosted one previous outdoor contest, with the Wild defeating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 at TCF Bank Stadium in 2016 as part of the NHL Stadium Series. Target Field has hosted numerous notable sporting events – including MLB playoffs home contests for the Twins, the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, and NCAA bowl games, as well as concerts and other live events – but the hockey game will be a first for the venue.
“We are just really happy to be back in this place after all that we’ve all been through,” Wild president Matt Majka said. “I cannot begin to diminish the difficulty that so many of us have experienced over this past year with the pandemic, and I feel like there’s reason for optimism that we are moving forward and this is, I think, another indication of that. We’re really thrilled with that. I’d like to start quickly by thanking the NHL for granting us this event and a second chance at it. I definitely want to thank Dave St. Peter and his staff and the Minnesota Twins who have been good friends through the years and great partners in this event so far, and we have every confidence that we’ll have a great event together.”
The league will also hold a Stadium Series contest in 2022, with the Tampa Bay Lightning visiting the Nashville Predators for a game in February at Bridgestone Arena – a first for the venue.
Ticket information for the 2022 NHL Winter Classic will be revealed at a later date.
The full press release announcing the event is included below:
Minnesota’s Target Field to Host 2022 NHL Winter Classic
Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and one of the premier sporting and entertainment venues in the Upper Midwest, will play host to the 2022 NHL Winter Classic® featuring the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues on January 1, 2022, the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today.
Originally scheduled for January 1, 2021, the event was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Today’s announcement was made by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman from Tampa prior to Game 1 of the 2021 Stanley Cup® Final between the Montreal Canadiens and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The 2022 NHL Winter Classic® will be the latest jewel event to be held at Target Field, which was named Sports Facility of the Year in 2011 by the Sports Business Journal and was recognized as having the best game day experience in all of sports by ESPN the Magazine in 2010. Over its first decade, the venue has hosted Major League Baseball’s Postseason (2010, 2019 and 2020) and All-Star Game (2014), multiple sporting events including Minnesota prep tournaments, an international soccer match (2016) and NCAA football games (2017 and 2019), and several concerts and music festivals.
The 2022 NHL Winter Classic® continues the tradition the NHL established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year. The outdoor game on New Year’s Day 2022 will be the 13th NHL Winter Classic and the 33rd NHL regular-season outdoor game overall. For a complete history of NHL regular-season outdoor games, click here.
The New Year’s Day matchup will be the Wild’s first NHL Winter Classic and second NHL regular-season outdoor game, with their previous such matchup coming in the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, a 6-1 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. For more information about the game, to receive alerts when ticket information becomes available and to enter for a chance to win tickets to the 2022 NHL Winter Classic®, please visit Wild.com/WinterClassic.