It looks like the Winter Classic is finally New York bound. According to a report from Arthur Staple of Newsday, an outdoor game featuring the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field is close to being finalized. This will be the first “official” Winter Classic held in the New York area, aside from the two Stadium Series games that took place back in January 2014 at Yankee Stadium.
The Sabres being involved in the game is also a nice touch, as it likely pays respect to Buffalo hosting the original Winter Classic in 2008. They also have an up-and-coming superstar in Jack Eichel, so that will likely add to the excitement surrounding the event. Unfortunately, though, the Rangers probably won’t be the one’s hosting the event as it would be affecting James Dolan’s property tax exemption for MSG.
As was the case during the Stadium Series games, the Rangers will need to be considered the “visiting team” so it doesn’t forfeit any of their tax breaks. Being that all of the Rangers home games have to be played at Madison Square Garden, they will most likely be the visiting team at the 2018 Winter Classic. That’s not to say that the place won’t be filled with mainly Ranger fans, though.
Even though the information is still being finalized, it appears that the stage is set for New Year’s Day 2018.