After years of frustration and waiting, the State of Hockey will finally host NHL's premiere outdoor game.
The NHL announced during the 2020 Winter Classic at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas that Minnesota will host the 2021 Winter Classic at Target Field in Minneapolis. The Wild will play a team TBD on New Year's Day in 2021, a little under five years after the Wild hosted the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Stadium Series across town at TCF Bank Stadium.
The announcement comes after weeks of rumors and reports floated by various outlets, most notably from Michael Russo in The Athletic. Multiple opponents for the Wild have been considered, with the finalists reportedly being the Winnipeg Jets, Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski.
Target Field has a capacity of 39,504, which is nearly 11,000 less than the announced attendance of 50,426 at TCF Bank Stadium for the Stadium Series game. NHL officials including commissioner Gary Bettman toured both sites back in 2013 before deciding to host the 2014 game in Dinkytown.