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Capitals to host 2015 Winter Classic

The SportsXchange

The Washington Capitals announced Saturday morning that the NHL Winter Classic will be played in the nation's capital Jan. 1, 2015.

The team made the announcement to fans during its annual Capitals convention via video.

Owner Ted Leonsis released a statement about the event.

"We are extremely excited to host the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and bring this great event to the D.C. area," Leonsis said. "Our great fan base deserves to experience the magnificence of an outdoor game. We are thrilled to once again be part of this great event."

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman also confirmed the news.

"The excitement of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic continues to grow, and bringing the 2015 event to the D.C. area will write another chapter in the game's great history of entertainment," Bettman said in a statement. "We are looking forward to being in Washington with the Capitals' great fans."

However, no venue or opponent for the Capitals was announced.

"There will be an opponent announced but the host is really the league," Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said. "They have work to do with figuring out the opponent and the venue but this is going to be fantastic."

Nationals Park is believed to be the favorite. However, other possibilities include RFK Stadium and FedEx Field.

CSN Philly reported that the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins are most likely the top candidates to face the Capitals.

The Big House in Ann Arbor, Mich., will be the site of the next NHL outdoor showcase on Jan. 1, 2014. The Detroit Red Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Bettman promised in 2010 that the Capitals would get to host the Classic in two to three years, but those plans got delayed after last year's lockout cancelled the annual outdoor game, which was scheduled for Michigan. That also bumped Washington another year.
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