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Michigan Board Gives AD Go-Ahead On Winter Classic

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ANN ARBOR, MI - DECEMBER 11: A general view of the Big Chill game between the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines with an attendance of 113,441, the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game, at Michigan Stadium on December 11, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 5-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, MI – DECEMBER 11: A general view of the Big Chill game between the Michigan State Spartans and Michigan Wolverines with an attendance of 113,441, the largest crowd to ever watch a hockey game, at Michigan Stadium on December 11, 2010 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Wolverines defeated the Spartans 5-0. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — The University of Michigan Board of Regents on Wednesday authorized athletic director Dave Brandon to seek a contract with the NHL that would allow the league to hold next year’s Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

The board called the special meeting to discuss renting the stadium to the league for the outdoor hockey game. The NHL also said it would have a major announcement Thursday at Detroit’s Comerica Park — with additional media availability in Ann Arbor that same day.

According to the recommendation approved by the board, the Winter Classic would be scheduled for Jan. 1, 2013, with an alternate date of Jan. 2 — and the NHL has offered to pay up to $3 million for a license to use the iconic college football stadium.

A liquor license would be obtained so alcohol could be served at the event, and the NHL would bring its “advertising and other sponsorship arrangements” into the stadium.

Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have all hosted the Winter Classic, but a game at Michigan Stadium could draw the league’s largest crowd.

The Wolverines and rival Michigan State attracted a Guinness World Record 104,173 people for a hockey game on Dec. 11, 2010.

This year’s Winter Classic at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park drew 46,967, and the New York Rangers beat the Flyers 3-2.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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