NHL cancels 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium

NHL cancels Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, also cancels events at Comerica Park

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - The NHL has cancelled the 2013 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.

The league announced Friday the cancellation of one of its signature events. The NHL will schedule its next Winter Classic at the iconic stadium that seats more than 100,000 people.

In addition, the NHL said all Hockeytown Winter Festival events scheduled for Dec. 16-31 at Comerica Park in Detroit are cancelled.

"The cancellation was necessary because, given the absence of a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NHL Players' Association and the NHL, the League was not in a position to do all that is necessary to adequately stage events of this magnitude," the league said in a news release.

There have been no labor negotiations since Oct. 18, when the players' union countered a league offer with three proposals. Those were all quickly rejected by the NHL. Since then, a league-imposed deadline to play a full season has passed, and the NHL cancelled all games through Nov. 30.

Detroit and Toronto, two of the league's Original Six teams, were going to play outdoors on Jan. 1 at the stadium known as the Big House. The league was hoping the matchup would break the world record for hockey attendance.

Michigan and Michigan State's hockey teams drew a record 104,173 fans in 2010.

Buffalo, Chicago, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have all hosted the Winter Classic, but the crowd for a game at Michigan Stadium was expected to draw the league's largest crowd. The last Classic at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park drew 46,967, and the New York Rangers beat the host Flyers 3-2.

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