NHL Winter Classic 2020: 10 things you should know about this year's game


The first Winter Classic showdown of the 2020s is scheduled for New Year's Day when the Dallas Stars and the Nashville Predators will meet on a frozen track located inside the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

Everything from the pre-game holidays to the game itself has been planned and prepared for the 12th edition of the main NHL event. In 2008, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabers in the first classic winter game at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York; 12 years later, the fastest ice sport is heading to Dallas for a new era of outdoor hockey.

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From ice preparation to the history of Cotton Bowl Stadium, here are 10 numbers to know about the NHL Winter Classic 2020:


This year's Winter Classic marks the first outdoor game in which the Dallas Stars or Nashville Predators franchises have played. Eleven franchises have participated in previous Winter Classics with Chicago Blackhawks appearing at most four.

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Cotton Bowl Stadium is the sixth football stadium to host a Winter Classic and the third university football stadium, although the Cotton Bowl was home to the Dallas Cowboys of the NFL and the Dallas Texans of the AFL in the early 1960

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The twelfth classic winter game is celebrated on January 1, 2020. The event itself spans 13 years: Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins won the first Classic in 2008. There was no Classic Winter game in 2013 due to a blockage that lost the first half of the 2012-13 season.

YearEvent venueCityMatchAssistance
2008Ralph Wilson StadiumOrchard Park, New York Penguins 2, Sabers 1 (SO)71,217
2009Wrigley FieldChicago, IL Red wings 6Blackhawks 440,818
2010Fenway ParkBoston, MAFlyers 1, Bruins 2 (OLD TESTAMENT)38,112
2011Heinz FieldPittsburgh, PA Capitals 3, Penguins 168,111
2012Citizens Bank ParkPhiladelphia, PA Rangers 3, Brochures 246,967
2014Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI Maple leaves 3, Red Wings 2 (SO)105,491
2015National ParkWashington DCBlackhawks 2, Capitals 342,832
2016Gillette StadiumFoxborough, MA Canadiens 5Bruins 167,246
2017Busch StadiumSt. Louis, MOBlackhawks 1, Blues 446,556
2018Citi FieldQueens, New York Rangers 3, Sabers 2 (OT)41,821
2019Notre Dame StadiumSouth Bend, IN Bruins 4Blackhawks 276,126
2020Cotton Bowl StadiumDallas, TXStars against predatorsTBD


The city of Dallas is on the 32.78 latitude line, which makes Wednesday's contest the most southern regular season outdoor NHL game in history. Previously, Washington D.C., was the southern tip where a Winter Classic was played, on a 38.89 latitude line for a confrontation between the Blackhawks and the Capitals in 2015.

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The average temperature in the fall of the disc in the previous Winter Classics has been 35.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Wednesday's forecast for Dallas includes a minimum of 37 and a maximum of 56, according to accuweather.com. Pittsburgh's turn to organize the event in 2011 saw a "toasty,quot; day of 51.7 degrees, which means Dallas could be the warmest Winter Classic to date.

In 2014, fans in Ann Arbor, Mich., All 105,491 of them, experienced the coldest temperature with a 13-degree disc drop.


Outdoor hockey rinks require a mobile cooling unit to maintain the ice rink and the world's largest unit was built specifically for the NHL's outdoor games. It measures 53 feet in length, equivalent to a quarter of the surface length of an NHL track.


Cotton Bowl Stadium opened its doors for the first time in 1930 with approximately half of the seats it has today. Now its capacity is set at 92,100 after multiple rounds of seat expansion in the last 89 years.


How do you freeze all that water in Dallas? Three thousand gallons of refrigerant, that's how. There are almost 40 full bathtubs to the brim or seven and a half whirlpools to ensure that the ice remains sufficiently conditioned to skate all afternoon on January 1.


Almost 17,000 more gallons of water are required to create the ice surface at Cotton Bowl Stadium for the game Stars vs.. Predators, and that only creates a surface two inches deep.


Nearly 1.5 million fans have attended the 28 outdoor games of the regular season of the NHL, an average of 53,317 per game has been the Winter Classic of each season and a variety of Stadium Series games. With the sale of tickets north of 84,000 for this year's game, that total will outshine the 1.5 million mark.