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Maple Leafs to play Red Wings in 2014 Winter Classic

After the big game was cancelled last year due to the strike, it appears Toronto and Detroit fans will get their wish after all.

The NHL announced Sunday that the Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Detroit Red Wings in the 2014 Bridgestone Winter Classic on January 1 at Michigan Stadium.

It’s anticipated that the 2014 Winter Classic could set a world record for attendance at a hockey game, with the game being held at Michigan Stadium.

Nicknamed ‘The Big House’, Michigan Stadium is the largest of its kind in North America.

More than 100,000 fans are expected to attend the game, which could beat the previous record of 104,173 people attending the game between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Michigan Stadium in 2010.

“The history of the teams’ cross-border rivalry, the nobility of ‘The Big House’ and the growing tradition of the NHL Winter Classic will raise the anticipation for this event to new heights,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said.

“We are delighted to offer our fans a spectacle at which the energy will be unmatched and the demand for tickets will be unprecedented.”

The Winter Classic will coincide with the Hockeytown Winter Festival being held in downtown Detroit at Comerica Park beginning in mid-December.

There will be a significant amount of history involved in the game, as both Detroit and Toronto are members of the original six teams and longtime rivals.

The Red Wings will wear a red-and-white antique uniform with a Detroit Cougars-inspired wordmark, while the Leafs will wear a royal-blue-and-white uniform with a pattern similar to the circa 1930s Leafs.

Leading up to the classic will be the 24/7 Red Wings/Maple Leafs: Road to the NHL Winter Classic, which will be exclusively broadcast on Sportsnet.