Chicago will be the hub for major college hockey this February as it will host a double header featuring Miami (OH) vs Notre Dame and a grudge match between Minnesota and Wisconsin . The official date for this event which has been named the Hockey City Classic will be announced on Wednesday. The Wisconsin website may have leaked the date by stating their game versus Minnesota is on February 17, 2013. It sounds like this could become a yearly event which would be great in promoting college hockey in a major market. I have to believe this also an attempt to bring the NHL Winter Classic back to Chicago.
Notre Dame made the Frozen Four in both 2008 and again in 2011. The Irish has a huge following and a large amount of alumni in Chicago so they were an easy choice for this event. Miami of Ohio has had a lot of recent success. The Red Hawks have made the NCAA tournament every year since 2006 and made the Frozen Four in 2009 and 2010. They lost the 2009 National Championship Game in 2009 to Boston University. The Golden Gophers of Minnesota are one of the historic programs in college hockey. They are five time National Champions and have made the Frozen Four twenty times including this past season. The Wisconsin Badgers have won six National Championships and have been to the Frozen Four twelve times, the last time being in 2010.
I think this will be a successful event and I can’t wait to go! I would think this lineup can sell over 50,000 tickets. Even though there has been some complaints from Gopher and Badger fans on various media outlets I think these fan bases will travel. What is not to like about traveling a few short hours to see your team play in a world class city like Chicago? College hockey has no following in a great hockey town. An event like this can lay the foundation for college hockey to have a place in a major media market. I would love to see a Chicago Wolves game versus the Rockford IceHogs added to this weekend.