Cancellation of NHL Winter Classic Could Cost Cities, League Upwards of $70 Million in Expected Revenue (Video)


Ann Arbor, Mich., the proposed site of the 2013 NHL Winter Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, could lose over $30 million in projected revenues if the game is cancelled. Even worse, the southern Michigan area could lose over $70 million.

According to a report from Yahoo! Sports, the NHL signed a contract pledging to pay the University of Michigan a $3 million rental fee to lease Michigan Stadium. Athletic Director Dave Brandon projects the city to make roughly $30 million in revenue as a result of the increased business surrounding the Winter Classic.

An average Michigan football game brings in about $15 million, according to the report.

And, for the first time, two outdoor venues were scheduled to be built, with a celebration of hockey taking place at Detroit’s Comerica Park. All together, the revenue expected for the Motor City and Ann Arbor was expected to reach nearly $70 million.

Also for the first time in 2013, a Canadian team is scheduled to take part, as the Toronto Maple Leafs would face off against the Red Wings. Just north of the border, another city would experience some tough economic downfalls if the Winter Classic is cancelled.

According to, Windsor, Ont. is worried about losing $2 million in projected business revenue as a result of the cancellation. Canadian attendees of the game may have chosen to stay in the nearby city of Windsor and cross the border to attend the festivities.

According to reports, the NHL is leaning towards cancelling the Winter Classic by Friday if a new CBA is not reached. The league has already cancelled over a quarter of its season so far.

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