Marc J. Robbins / NHL.comThe NHL’s annual Winter Classic is one of the largest and most successful sporting events in the world.
The game has been in the spotlight in the United States since the beginning of this year, as the NHL announced the expansion of the event to the Winter Classic for the first time in its history.
The games were moved from the traditional outdoor venue of Bridgestone Arena in Nashville to the brand-new arena in Sunrise, Fla., a facility that is about two miles from the NHL’s arena in St. Louis.
The Winter Classic was originally played at Bridgestones Arena in 2006 and 2009.
During those seasons, the NHL expanded to the World Hockey Association and expanded the number of teams participating in the event.
This year, the event is played at the newly renovated Bridgestoned Arena in Sunrise.
That stadium is about half the size of Bridgeway Arena in Atlanta and a mere 10 miles from Tampa Bay.
“The NHL is committed to hosting these great events and we are very excited about the exciting opportunities to bring the games to the fans in 2018,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.
The NHL will host three games during the event, beginning Friday and ending Sunday.
The first of the three games will be a matchup between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Columbus Blue Jackets at 1 p.m.
The second game will be played Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins at 1:30 p.s.m., and the third will be the final game of the tournament.
Each game will have a $5.25 entry fee.
The top three teams in the NHL standings will qualify for a spot in the finals.
The opening night game will take place Saturday, Feb. 26, against the Edmonton Oilers at 6:30 a.m.; the second game is Saturday, March 2, against Winnipeg Jets at 6 p.t.; and the final matchup is Sunday, March 8, against Ottawa Senators at 8 p.d.
For more information on the Winter Classics, including ticketing options, game times, and broadcast information, visit the NHL.
The games will air on NBC Sports Network, NBCSN and CBC Sports Network.
The final four games of the 2017-18 Winter Classic will be staged Saturday, May 13, against Toronto Maple Leafs at 7:30 am; Saturday, June 1, against Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.p.m; and Sunday, June 2, versus Buffalo Sabres at 7 pm.
The 2017-2018 Winter Classic begins Saturday, Jan. 31, with a matchup against the Tampa Lightning at 8:00 a.t.
It will be televised on NBCSN, NBCSports.com, CBCSports.ca and CBCSportsGO.
The 2018 Winter Classic starts Saturday, April 25, with the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Toronto Maple Leaf at 8 pm.
The game will air live on NBC, NBC Sports, CBC Sports, ESPN, and ESPN Deportes.
Tickets for the Winter and Winter Classic are available through Ticketmaster.
Fans can buy tickets to the 2018 Winter Classics online at www.nhl.com/tickets.