Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 2/9/12

The NHL officially announced Thursday that next year's Winter Classic will feature a matchup between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at the University of Michigan.

The Original Six rivals will square off on Jan. 1, 2013. The game is expected to draw a crowd of 110,000-plus at Michigan Stadium - and 150,000-200,000 people for the Winter Classic festivities.

"The Red Wings' tradition of excellence, Detroit's passion for hockey and the glorious history of the Maple Leafs create a Winter Classic scenario for the ages," NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said.

"The meeting of these two Original Six rivals, at this iconic venue, will lift this Winter Classic to incomparable heights. The demand to be there will be so great that this event could only be held at 'The Big House.'"

Michigan's famed Big House drew a crowd of 113,411 for a college game between rivals Michigan State and Michigan in December 2010.

"We are honored to host the 2013 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and bring the Hockeytown Winter Festival to our fans," Detroit owner Michael Ilitch said. "This is one of the greatest sports towns ever and to be able to host this celebration of the sport of hockey will provide a tremendous positive economic impact to our community. We are proud to show the world why we love Hockeytown!"

The New York Rangers edged the host Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in this year's Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies.

The 2008 Winter Classic drew a record 71,217 for a matchup between the host Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

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