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Nationals Park to host Winter Classic featuring Capitals vs. Blackhawks

The Sports Xchange

Members of the grounds crew hold a tarp covering the playing field during a rain delay prior to the game between the Giants and Nationals in August. Nationals Park will host the 2015 Winter Classic as the Capitals take on the Blackhawks on Jan. 1. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Members of the grounds crew hold a tarp covering the playing field during a rain delay prior to the game between the Giants and Nationals in August. Nationals Park will host the 2015 Winter Classic as the Capitals take on the Blackhawks on Jan. 1. (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

The National Hockey League announced Wednesday that the Washington Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015 at Nationals Park.

"The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic has made New Year's Day a highlight of the season for NHL fans everywhere," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement. "Nationals Park provides an ideal setting for all the excitement, entertainment and fun as the Blackhawks and Capitals bring our outdoor tradition to historic Washington, D.C."

The stadium is the home of Major League Baseball's Washington Nationals. The 41,546 seat venue opened in March 2008.

"We are thrilled the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be played at Nationals Park as we welcome the Chicago Blackhawks and their fans to our nation's capital," Capitals majority owner Ted Leonsis said. "We are delighted the D.C. area and our great fan base will have an opportunity to experience the Winter Classic, and we know that Nationals Park will provide an incredible backdrop for the game."

In celebration of the outdoor game, the Capitals will unveil their NHL Winter Classic uniforms during a special event at Nationals Park on Sept. 23.

The 2015 game will mark the seventh Winter Classic. It will be the second time that the Capitals will play an outdoor game. Washington defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1 in front of 68,111 fans at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Jan. 1, 2011.

The Blackhawks will appear in the Winter Classic for the second time. Chicago hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the 2009 Winter Classic. The Red Wings won the game 6-4.

"It's an honour to be selected by the NHL to participate in the 2015 NHL Winter Classic," said Blackhawks president and CEO John McDonough. "This is another marquee event for the Blackhawks and we're looking forward to spending New Year's Day in our nation's capital."


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