Seattle to Host NHL Winter Classic in 2024


Landen Tidwell, Staff Writer

The NHL’s Winter Classic heads west. On January 2, the NHL announced that the 16th Winter Classic will be held in Seattle. The game will be between the hometown Kraken facing off against the Vegas Golden Knights at the Mariners home T-Mobile Park on January 1, 2024. This is the first outdoor game for both teams and it’s a battle between the leagues two newest franchises.

The Winter Classic is a hockey game that is played outdoors normally in a stadium. The game does count for the regular season standings. The first Winter Classic was in 2008 in Buffalo when the hometown Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium now called Highmark Stadium which is the home to the NFL’s Buffalo Bills. Ever since then the game has been played every year other than 2013 due to a lockout, and 2021 due to covid. The game has been held in venues such as Wrigley Field in Chicago, Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Fenway Park in Boston, and many more.

Kraken players and owners have shared their excitement about being part of this amazing event. “We are honored that the NHL has selected the Kraken, in just our second season, to host this amazing event at the home of our friends, the Mariners,” Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said.

This will be the first Winter Classic held in a stadium with a retractable roof stadium. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support our hometown team when they take the ice and see our ballpark packed to the rafters with our city’s incredible fans cheering them on,” Mariners president of business operations Catie Griggs said.

It’s also the first Winter Classic to be held in the pacific time zone with the furthest the game came west was in 2020 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Some Kraken players already had the chance to play in this amazing event. Like Jaden Schwartz in 2017, Ryan Donato in 2019, and Jamie Oleksiak in 2020.

“Outdoor hockey is at the essence of our game and the way many of our players grew up playing,” Kraken GM Ron Francis said, “We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase this in Seattle.”