February 8, 2012 PRINT Bookmark and Share

GLI To Be Played Outdoors Next Season

CHN Staff Report

Next season's Great Lakes Invitational will take place at Detroit's Comerica Park, the stadium of baseball's Detroit Tigers, it will be officially announced Thursday according to various reports.

It will be part of a week of activities surrounding the NHL's Winter Classic, which will be held in Michigan's football stadium between the Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs on Jan. 1, 2013. The NHL is paying the University of Michigan $3 million to host the event and allow liquor sales.

Michigan's "Big House" — the nickname for its football stadium — was host to a Michigan-Michigan State game two years ago, one that shattered the world record for attendance at any hockey game. The NHL is obviously hoping to surpass that with this event. The Winter Classic has become a very popular annual event in general, taking place around New Year's Day each year.

The GLI is one of college hockey's storied annual events, comprised by Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech and a rotating fourth team. It traditionally takes place over the holidays at Detroit's Joe Louis Arena.

Detroit Red Wings owner Mike Illitch also owns the Detroit Tigers. In exchange for putting the outdoor game in Ann Arbor instead of his own baseball stadium, Comerica Park will get the GLI plus a number of other events. These include an AHL game, and two Ontario Hockey League games.

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