ATLANTA - OCTOBER 2: A general view of Soldier Field during the game between the Chicago Bears and the Carolina Panthers on October 2, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
The long awaited announcement of the outdoor hockey game at Soldier Field between WCHA rivals Wisconsin and Minnesota is coming soon. A press conference has been set for Wednesday afternoon in Chicago to announce the details for the Hockey City Classic.
Wisconsin junior defenseman Frankie Simonelli is expected to be on hand to represent the Badgers. Simonelli, a Bensenville, IL native grew up just 25 minutes from Soldier Field and attended a Kenny Chesney concert over the weekend at the stadium. Simonelli tweeted about how excited he was to play on the field come February.
The Badgers and Gophers are expected to be the nightcap in a doubleheader that also features CCHA members Notre Dame and Miami. Earlier in April the Wisconsin State Journal reported that the game is scheduled to take place Sunday, February 17th, 2013.
The contest will be considered a home game for the Badgers, who are giving up a date at the Kohl Center for this event. Minnesota and Wisconsin will play Friday night at the Kohl Center, with a built in travel day Saturday before the border battle outdoor event on Sunday.
According to the WSJ report from April, Wisconsin is expected to receive between $200,000 and $250,000 for their part in the game. That's roughly what the University would pull in for gate revenue at a typical game at the Kohl Center.
The outdoor game will mark the final regular season contest between Wisconsin and Minnesota as members of the WCHA. Both teams will be a part of the Big Ten Hockey Conference starting in 2013.
Wisconsin has hosted two other outdoor games previous to the Soldier Field game. The Badgers hosted Ohio State at Lambeau Field in 2006, and Michigan at Camp Randall in 2010.
Both seasons saw Wisconsin eventually advance to the Frozen Four.
For more Wisconsin hockey coverage, follow Chuck on Twitter (@UWChuckSchwartz)
Chuck can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org