Fans could be “knee deep” in fun New Year’s Day at NHL Winter Classic, the outdoor game between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at The Big House in Ann Arbor.
Organizers announced the Zac Brown Band will sing the national anthem. There will also be performances by singer/songwriter Mayer Hawthorne and recording artists The Tenors.
The day will also include the announcement of the rosters for the 2014 U.S. Olympic men’s and women’s ice hockey teams; a flyover of CF-18 fighter jets and a Canada-United States color guard; and appearances by Ann Arbor and Detroit-area youth hockey players.
Zac Brown Band’s NHL Winter Classic celebration begins on Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve, with a public concert at Joe Louis Arena for the NHL New Year’s Eve Bash. The band will return to Joe Louis Arena on Jan. 1 to close out their two-night performance.
“Zac Brown Band has become one of music’s most heralded acts,” organizers said in a press release, noting the band has three platinum-selling albums, including “Uncaged,” “You Get What You Give” and “The Foundation,” which together sold more than six million copies and produced a historic series of 10 No. 1 hit singles.
Ann Arbor native Mayer Hawthorne will open the game with a performance. Hawthorne will return to the field during the first intermission for another set.
After the Red Wings and Maple Leafs make their way onto the ice, The Tenors will perform the Canadian national anthem.
During the second intermission, USA Hockey will reveal the final roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women’s ice hockey team. All 21 members of the Sochi-bound team will be in attendance for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and led onto the field by general manager Reagan Carey and head coach Katey Stone.
At the end of the game, USA Hockey will announce the roster for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Men’s ice hockey team. General manager David Poile, USA Hockey president Ron DeGregorio and USA Hockey executive director Dave Ogrean will be in attendance for the unveiling, which will feature Detroit-area USA Hockey youth players in jerseys bearing the names of each player who made the roster.