News & Politics

Washington Capitals Will Host 2015 NHL “Winter Classic”

Which stadium hosts the outdoor hockey game is still to be determined.

The Capitals won the 2011 NHL Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. Photograph by Flickr user clydeorama.

It’ll be a little awkward if January 1, 2015 turns out to be unseasonably warm in Washington. That’s because the Capitals will be hosting the NHL’s “Winter Classic,” an annual New Year’s Day game that is played in an open-air stadium.

The Caps’ hosting duties were first reported by the Washington Post, and will be formally announced Saturday by team owner Ted Leonsis. But where exactly the game will take place is which stadium will actually be used. The Capitals did not respond to inquiries.
Of the two stadiums actually in DC, Nationals Park seems a more likely choice than RFK Stadium. The baseball stadium is much newer and in solid architectural condition, and Nationals owner Mark Lerner is a minority partner in Leonsis’s Monumental Sports and Entertainment outfit. FedEx Field is also an option.
The Capitals played in the 2011 Winter Classic, beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 at Heinz Field. The teams’ preparation for the game was featured on HBO’s 24/7 series.
So hopefully for hockey fans, New Year’s Day 2015 will be a cold one. Though recent weather in Washington on January 1 has fluctuated wildly. This past January 1 felt a high temperature of 45 degrees, but January 1, 2012 peaked at a balmy 60 degrees.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.