Early Seattle Kraken Franchise Honor
Just as the 2023 NHL Winter Classic in Boston was getting underway, the league announced that the 2024 game will pit the host Seattle Kraken against the Vegas Golden Knights. The two teams are Pacific Division rivals and of course the two newest teams in the NHL.
The Seattle Kraken will continue their young tradition of hosting a game on New Year’s Day, but the next time around the game will be played at T-Mobile Park, the home of the Seattle Mariners.
“We are honored that the NHL has selected the Kraken, in just our second season, to host this amazing event at the home of our friends, the Mariners,” Kraken CEO Tod Leiweke said in a statement. “Over 40,000 fans will witness the beauty and grace of our wonderful game in a venue that showcases the Puget Sound surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.”
It will be the third consecutive Winter Classic played at a baseball venue, the 2022 game having been played at Target Field in Minneapolis between the Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues, and the 2023 game between the Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins at Fenway Park. The Bruins won Monday afternoon by a final score of 2-1.
Besides Fenway Park and Target Field, previous baseball venues have included Wrigley Field, the home of the Chicago Cubs, and Citizens Bank Park, the home of the Philadelphia Phillies.
The first ever Winter Classic was played at a football venue, Ralph Wilson Stadium, with the Buffalo Sabres hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008. The Penguins won in a shoot-out.
“We are just thrilled at the league to be able to make this announcement and looking forward already to next year’s game,” NHL executive Steve Mayer told the Seattle Kraken audio network. “I think everything from the fish market to the music that’s played, it’s known not only in Seattle, but all over the country. I think we have to lean into that. I just think also, the look of Seattle, the water and just all these things that I think we’ll lean into, how we design the field, create the environment that becomes a part of the game.”
“Outdoor hockey is at the essence of our game and the way many of our players grew up playing,” Seattle Kraken General Manager Ron Francis added. “We are thrilled to have the chance to showcase this in Seattle.”