5 NHL Winter Classic venues we’d love to see in the future

The NHL has held its outdoor games in notable locations over the years. Here are five venues we'd love to see the NHL host the Winter Classic in the future.

2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic - Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins
2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic - Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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NHL fans anticipate the tradition of outdoor hockey games. The Winter Classic, Heritage Classic, and Stadium Series each bring thrills in an outdoor venue. The Winter Classic traditionally takes place on New Year’s Day. If Jan. 1 falls on a Sunday, the game is held on Monday.

In the 2023-24 season, the 2024 Discover NHL Winter Classic will be held at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, Washington, the home of MLB’s Seattle Mariners. The Seattle Kraken will host the Vegas Golden Knights on Jan.1, 2024 at 12:00 PST.

Looking ahead, what are some venues we want to host the Winter Classic? Which cities are due for a big outdoor game, and which teams should face off? We explored MLB stadiums and college football stadiums that could potentially host an outdoor game. NFL stadiums are not typically used for the Winter Classic since the NFL season is still ongoing at the time of the game. NFL stadiums are more commonly utilized for the Stadium Series which takes place after the NFL playoffs conclude. Here are five potential Winter Classic venues we’d love to see in the future.

5. Los Angeles Coliseum (Anaheim Ducks @ Los Angeles Kings)

The first location on our list is Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. This college football stadium is home to the University of Southern California Trojans. California has hosted NHL outdoor games before. The Los Angeles Kings were the home team for the first Stadium Series game, held at Dodger Stadium in 2014. They played against the local Anaheim Ducks. The San Jose Sharks were the home team for a Stadium Series located at Levi’s Stadium in 2015. California has never hosted a Winter Classic. LA is hosting the 2028 Summer Olympics, with the LA Coliseum as one of the venues.

A game at LA Coliseum could be a match-up between the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. The LA Kings have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs the past two seasons, although they did not advance past the first round. The Ducks might not be a big selling point in the next couple of years with the current state of the team. They do have young talent, such as Trevor Zegras, Jamie Drysdale, and Leo Carlsson, so there’s a bright future for this team. 

The NHL will take into account the weather obstacles. LA can be warm even in the winter, so it would probably be a nighttime game to avoid the sun melting the ice. New Year’s Day is pretty busy in Southern California already, with the annual Rose Bowl. The Rose Bowl is traditionally played at 2:00 PM PST. An 8:00 PM start time for a Winter Classic would enable someone who is a football fan and a hockey fan to attend both. Someone from out of town could come to the area for New Year’s Eve and then spend New Year’s Day attending the games.

The LA Coliseum has a capacity of 77,500. The stadium’s renovation was completed between 2018 and 2019. Although the renovation lowered the capacity, this update made the stadium more modern. The NHL should consider the LA Coliseum as a future site of the Winter Classic.