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Winnipeg to host 2016 Winter Classic

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Winnipeg winter is no match for the passion that the city has for hockey, as the NHL announced in the early hours of Tuesday morning that the River City would play host to the 2016 Heritage Classic.

The game, which will likely take place in March, will take place at Investors Group Field, the new home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Seating, as announced, will be expanded for the game.

The Winnipeg Jets, of course, will play host in the game with an opponent to be determined, but expect the foe to either be a fellow Canadian city or a close-proximity rival such as Minnesota or Chicago.

This will be the first outdoor game held in the capital city, though the Winnipeg Jets and the preceding Manitoba Moose have held outdoor practices in the past.

Winnipeg is no stranger to hosting major hockey events. In 1999, Winnipeg was the primary host city for the World Junior Hockey Championships and in 2007 was home to the Women's World Hockey Championships. Additionally, Team Canada skated on Winnipeg's ice prior to the 2005 World Juniors, while one of the four 1972 Summit Series games and 2009 Junior Summit games were held on Winnipeg ice.

At this time no ticketing has been announced, but one can expect that season ticket holders for the Winnipeg Jets - followed by wait-listers - will have first crack. Assuming the wait list at that time will drop from the current 3,000-odd spots, there will still be plenty of tickets available for the game, local and for shinny tourists.

No matter what way you slice it, this is a major boon for Winnipeg and Winnipeg hockey fans overall.

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