Comparing Possible Venues for the Winter Classic

winter-classic

Photo credit: Justin K. Aller

This morning we talked about whom the Capitals might play against at the fabled 2015 Winter Classic, which we are due to learn about on Saturday. Word on the street is that it’ll be Boston or Philly (probably Philly), but that doesn’t matter as our discussion quickly devolved into where the game would be held.

I was at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on that gloriously balmy January day back in 2011. It was magical, with nearly a birds-eye-view of the on-ice action and the largest crowd I’ve ever screamed next to at a hockey game.

The Winter Classic is all about that scope, that grandeur, that nostalgia, and that crass financial exploitation of an unsuspecting fanbase. It won’t get any bigger and $$$-ier than this year’s Winter Classic, held at the 100k-seating Big House in Michigan. So where will it be in 2015?

It’s a complicated question. Regional loyalties, security, sight lines, occupancy, and Dan Snyder’s undiluted evil all play into the equation– as does the fact that it NEVER SNOWS IN DC ANYMORE.

Let’s run through the candidates together.

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Alex Ovechkin Orioles Ceremonial First Pitch

Photo credit: Ian Oland

On the eve of his 26th birthday (send us your birthday cards!), Alex Ovechkin — adorned with *gasp* Cal Ripken’s retired #8 Orioles jersey — traveled up I-95 Friday to take batting practice and throw out the ceremonial first pitch ahead of Baltimore’s match-up against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Great Hockey Eight, making his first ever appearance at Camden Yards, had only one goal: not to embarrass himself in front of a few thousand Charm-Citiers.

“I’m kinda excited,” Ovechkin told CSN’s Chris Miller before the first pitch. “I saw on YouTube John Wall’s [first pitch] a couple of minutes ago, and I hope it’s not gonna happen with me. I practice a little bit so it’s good. I feel comfortable.”

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