Notre Dame Stadium will be the site of a high-profile National Hockey League game next season. The league has announced the University of Notre Dame will host the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins. Commissioner Gary Bettman expects the game to be the "largest live audience ever to witness a game by either of these teams."
Notre Dame Stadium can hold some 80,000 fans, providing "an ideal setting for this ground-breaking event." It will be the second college football stadium to host the game. Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor was the site of the 2014 game.
The Blackhawks and Notre Dame have forged a relationship in recent years involving the team holding a portion of pre-season training camp at the South Bend campus. In 2013, 2014, 2015 and again before the start of the current NHL season, the team used Compton Family Ice Arena for some open practices.
Chicago has played in four NHL Winter Classics, while Boston has appeared in three. They have not played each other previously in the January 1 game launched in 2008 to showcase top teams in larger, outdoor venues on national television.
Notre Dame Director of Athletics Jack Swarbrick says "we are very excited to welcome the Chicago Blackhawks, Boston Bruins and NHL to Notre Dame Stadium for the 2019 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. I believe it's only fitting that two of the NHL's legendary Original Six teams will take the ice for the first hockey game in one of America's most iconic athletic facilities. Hosting two franchises with so many connections to Notre Dame also provides a unique opportunity to celebrate our hockey legacy."
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