One of the NHL's biggest rivalries is coming to Citizens Bank Park.The NHL announced on Monday that the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be held at 1 p.m. ET on Jan. 2 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, with the Flyers hosting the New York Rangers. "On behalf of the entire Phillies organization, [NHL] Commissioner [Gary] Bettman, we're honored as an organization to host the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic," Phillies president David Montgomery said Monday at a news conference announcing the news.
"We're particularly pleased by the rivalry. As Philadelphians, we have great pride in our sports teams. ... But we think it's special, indeed, that it's Flyers versus Rangers, because it brings out a little more passion in the Flyers fans here."It's the fifth annual Winter Classic, and the second time the Flyers have taken part in the event, as they also played against the Bruins in 2010 at Fenway Park. The Flyers and Rangers have been in the same division since the 1974-75 season, with the Rangers being the Flyers' all-time most common opponent in the regular season (261 games) and Stanley Cup playoff series (10). The two teams also will become the closest geographic rivals to compete in the Winter Classic. "We love all of our sports, but we're very, very passionate in particular about the Flyers," Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter said. "It's Broad Street versus Broadway, and let's go Flyers." The game will be broadcast live on NBC in the U.S. and CBC and RDS in Canada. Sirius XM Satellite Radio will provide radio coverage, with NHL.com also providing extensive digital video coverage. "The Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is arguably the biggest game played during the NHL's regular season and it is a wonderful platform to feature our great sport to millions of worldwide viewers," Comcast-Spectacor chairman and Philadelphia Flyers founder Ed Snider said in a statement.
"It's an honor for the Philadelphia Flyers to serve as ambassadors for the NHL. We look forward to hosting the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic in Philadelphia and showcasing our great city to hockey fans throughout North America."