Minnesota’s Classic Question

Minnesota’s Classic Question

Is 2021 the year the state finally attracts the NHL's signature game?

For hockey fans, the new year means a new Winter Classic, the special National Hockey League game played outdoors every Jan. 1. The announcement of this year’s (12th) Classic, to be played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, triggered Minnesota hockey fans, irate that the Southern city that stole their original NHL team was to host the Classic before we do. Social media lit up.

One Twitter user, @Tatekate10, wrote: “Can someone please tell me how the former Minnesota team gets a winter classic before the current Minnesota team? #nosnowinDallas”

@schmidtkramer wrote: “What does the @NHL have against Minnesota in not giving us a Winter Classic? It must make [too] much sense to play outdoors in Minnesota in January.”

NHL officials declined to discuss Minnesota’s futile quest, but they assembled a corp-comm power play to dissuade TCB from covering the story, raising suspicion that the 2021 game, to be announced at the Dallas Classic, might be ours.

The Classic has proven to be a significant economic generator for host cities. Boston netted $36 million in 2010; little South Bend saw nearly $9 million in 2019. Dallas expects to see a $30 million impact, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Meet Minneapolis, the organization that recently facilitated other big events, including the 2018 Super Bowl, 2019 NCAA Final Four, and 2018 and 2019 Summer X Games, is ready if that’s what’s announced on New Year’s Day. Spokesperson Kathy McCarthy said the Classic’s bid process is opaque, so the organization hasn’t been involved. She described the game as “a natural fit” for the Twin Cities.

Will lucky 13 be Minnesota’s year? Stay tuned.