ANN ARBOR (CBS Detroit/AP) – The National Hockey League has canceled the Winter Classic scheduled for Jan. 1 at Michigan Stadium between Detroit and Toronto, the latest casualty in the lockout.
The league said Friday that it would schedule the next Winter Classic at the Big House, which holds more than 100,000 people and had been expected to set a record for attendance at a hockey game.
The NHL said it had to cancel the game because it was not in position to adequately stage the event it time, not without a new labor deal.
Among other things, the event called for a winter festival in neighboring Detroit and the construction of two outdoor rinks for multiple college and youth teams. Some 400,000 people were expected in the area over the New Year’s weekend.
Director of Operations at Small Plates Detroit, Theadore Oresky said the festival’s cancellation is disappointing.
“It would have brought a lot more people into the are for that shot period of time,” said Oresky. “But what it does, in the long run — it exposes people to Detroit, like, ‘Oh! I’ll come down here.'”
Oresky and other business owners say the ongoing NHL lockout has been hurting business.
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