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D.C. Council makes play for Winter Classic

I'm already on the record saying that, barring a Stanley Cup final or Redskins NFC championship game, a Penguins-Caps Winter Classic at either Nats Park or RFK Stadium would be the best D.C. sporting event of 2011.

The D.C. Council apparently agrees. According to a resolution introduced by Muriel Bowser on Tuesday, and signed by (among others) Marion Barry, the Council believes that:

"Hosting the National Hockey League's Winter Classic would be most advantageous for the District of Columbia."

And also that:

"The District of Columbia is the best city to host the Winter Classic, because it is our nation's capital, a world renowned city, a historic city, and a city with a strong hockey fan base."

And also that:

"Alex Ovechkin, arguably the worlds's best and the National Hockey League's most illustrious player and the reigning two-time MVP, plays for the Washington Capitals," and that "The Washington Capitals currently have the highest attendance rating in the National Hockey League."

What the bloody heck is an attendance rating?

Anyhow, the resolution contains interesting numbers galore; the Council says that an NBC poll shows 89 percent of (Washington sports fans?) are in favor of the Winter Classic coming to D.C., and that the District could "easily top" the attendance at Fenway Park since Nats Park (41,888) and RFK (46,000) both have larger capacities, and that "this winter shows that the District of Columbia has a winter climate that compares with any other city in the Northeast."

(Hold on, is this actually a joke? Is the Council really arguing that D.C.'s winter climate, on a year-to-year basis, compares with the climate in Syracuse? Did they outsource their writing responsibilities to the New York Post?)

(Also, the Council says we could "accommodate the largest crowd in the history of the Winter Classic." Since the 2008 game in Buffalo drew 71,217, I suppose D.C. would need simultaneous games or something. But we're creative here, we can do it.)

In any case, "it is the Sense of the Council of the District of Columbia that the National Hockey League should hold its 2011 Winter Classic hockey game in the District of Columbia," and I wholeheartedly agree. Also, if it goes to FedEx Field, I'm going to cry.

(Full PDF is available at the invaluable JD Land, which I came to via NBC Washington.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 4, 2010; 10:45 AM ET
Categories:  Caps , NHL  
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Way to stay on top of things, Steinz! It would be beyond awesome to have Winter Classic in DC!

And, yes, despite 12-0 censure, Marion Barry still working for all of us in the Discus. ;-)

Let's hope the technology will exist in 2011 to prevent a rain-out...

Posted by: aphid69 | March 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Too bad there are no bars anywhere around Nats Park. But,I'll be there and I hope it happens.

Posted by: ridgely1 | March 4, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

RFK would be cool mainly for tailgaiting purposes. I wouldnt want to put 45k people in there who might go nuts. The concrete might be brittle in our frigid winter climate

Posted by: makplan20002 | March 4, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

"Hold on, is this actually a joke?"

You post an item about the D.C. Council and then ask this question? What were you expecting?

Posted by: Tank2 | March 4, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

Hey, ridgely, there's going to be a bar opening at First and L SE within the next month or so. Justin's Cafe, with pizza/salads/sandwiches, is going to have a full bar, and will be open 7 days a week with typical bar hours.

Posted by: JDLand | March 4, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Hey, JDLand, love your site, which I followed religiously through the stadium's construction. No surprise to see you're still on top of things. Thanks.

(And thanks to the Bog for passing this along as well. Linkin' and aggregatin' like nobody else.)

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 4, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The file viewer name for this when I clicked on it was both funny and sad.

Posted by: Section117 | March 4, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Having the game at FedEx Field could do wonders for sports in this area.

* It brings the team close to their roots, heck you could see FedEx from the Cap Center and vice versa.

* Much larger attendance, something that may never be approached again unless they found a way to play it at The Rose Bowl

* The odds are great a Washington team wins at FedEx Field!

My next choice would be RFK Stadium, it has more character and a ton more parking.

Posted by: dj1123 | March 4, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

I notice the resolution says that RFK or Nationals Park could accommodate the largest crowd in the history of the Winter Classic. Where are they going to get another 35,000 seats to top the capacity of Ralph Wilson Stadium in Buffalo (site of the first Winter Classic, which drew around 73,000)?

Posted by: 1995hoo | March 4, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Dear DC Council,
If you would really like the Winter Classic in DC, please just shut up.

Posted by: jeadpt | March 4, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

How you could max out RFK.
Take the current Soccer set up and add in medal bleachers on the North and South sides of the stadium, also throw some along the concourse area in the 2nd tier if that passes fire regulation. odds are it will be at Nats Park if in DC though.

PS thanks for the tip on a new bar by nats park, I live in SW and have been waiting on a bar for ever in the hood. Cant count the one down by the river.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 4, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

don't get me wrong, i want the Winter Classic to come here for sure...but is anyone else kind of sad/worried/confused after reading those quotes from the Council? those snippets sound like a 6th grader drafted the "resolution". is a high school degree a requirement to be on the City Council? furthermore...whenever i hear Fenty speak, he doesn't strike me as the sharpest tool in the shed.

just bizarre.

Posted by: SadieV | March 4, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

If this game is at FedEx Field I will cry as well. FedEx Field symbolizes everthing that is wrong with the Redskins franchise. I know Snyder bought the team after it was built, but it is inconvenient, looks like crap, hard to get to your seats, and smells like urine. It also costs an ungodly amount of money to attend anything there. No Way. Nat's Park would be awesome!

Posted by: VarlyisNarly | March 4, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

I love Nats Park as much as the next person, but c'mon, if this game happens here, it MUST be at RFK. Two words: Bouncing Bleachers.

Posted by: rodeorob | March 4, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

FedEx isn't really an option for a New Year's NHL game because the NFL regular season is not yet over. The Redskins understandably would not agree to give up the stadium for the multiple weeks the NHL would require.

Posted by: 1995hoo | March 4, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

My ONLY problem with RFK, having gone to the Eagle Bank Bowl this year is that the place lacks quality services for food and whatnot.

Posted by: alex35332 | March 4, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm a DC United season ticket holder. There is a reason that United is desperately trying to get a new stadium. I've been to many Redskin and United games at RFK and it will always be a special place for me but it is way past it's prime now. FedEx is out as the NFL regular season isn't over by then. That leaves only Nationals Park as a viable alternative.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | March 4, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

While it would be nice, it's highly unlikely it'll happen here. Ted has even commented on his blog about how he thinks our temperatures are too unpredictable for them to stage it in this area. I'm a United ticket holder as well and agree with the previous poster. People who haven't been out to RFK in awhile don't realize that place is falling apart. They spruced it up for those couple years the Nats were there. It's regressed back to the sorry state it was in before that.

Posted by: thrh1 | March 4, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

And nothing says going to the game more than buying a huge batch of "whatnot".

Posted by: RobInVaBeach | March 4, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Forget this. You want to make it a huge event. Have it on the reflection pool. Set up temporary seating all around.

Posted by: pauljr11211 | March 4, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse


Second that. How awesome would it be if the game was played on the Mall. Talk about classy surroundings! And 1/20/2009 showed that the capacity is much more than 73k people. :)

Posted by: condalator | March 5, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

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