The exclamation point on what should be a fabulous 2023 for T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners: the renovated venue will host the 2024 Winter Classic, as the NHL event hits the Pacific Northwest.
The 2024 Winter Classic is set for Monday, January 1, 2024, with hometown Seattle Kraken hosting the Vegas Golden Knights. It will be the first outdoor contest for the Kraken, who began play during the 2021-22 season.
“Outdoor hockey is at the essence of our game and the way many of our players grew up playing,” said Ron Francis, Seattle Kraken general manager, via press release. “We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase this in Seattle.”
The 2024 Winter Classic marks the 16th anniversary of popular event. This year’s Winter Classic was hosted by the Boston Bruins at historic Fenway Park.
This will be the first Winter Classic to be held at a retractable-roof facility. However, given T-Mobile Park’s unique roof structure–acting more like a loose cover than something creating a sealed facility–the potential use of the roof will be in case of rain, protecting the rink and the ice sheet both for the 2024 Winter Classic and other events scheduled for the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024. The roof can also be closed and opened in sections. No announcement on the potential location of the rink.
“We are honored that the NHL has selected the Kraken, in just our second season, to host this amazing event at the home of our friends, the Mariners,” said Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Kraken, via press release. “Over 40,000 fans will witness the beauty and grace of our wonderful game in a venue that showcases the Puget Sound surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.”
“It’s a tremendous honor to host the next NHL Winter Classic at T-Mobile Park,” said Catie Griggs, Seattle Mariners president of business operations, via press release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to support our hometown team when they take the ice and see our ballpark packed to the rafters with our city’s incredible fans cheering them on.”
T-Mobile Park is set to host the 2023 MLB All-Star game on July 11. The ballpark has undergone a series of renovations that included overhauled group spaces and expanded bullpen party zones in left field.
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