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Kraken to Host Golden Knights in 2024 Winter Classic

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced that the 2024 NHL Winter Classic features the Golden Knights and Kraken from T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

The Boston Bruins rallied in the third period to edge the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2023 Winter Classic from Fenway Park in Boston, but ahead of the game NHL commissioner Gary Bettman revealed some key information regarding next year’s event.

The NHL’s two youngest franchises will face off from T-Mobile Park in Seattle when the Kraken plays host to the Vegas Golden Knights. The site is the home of Major League Baseball’s Seattle Mariners and becomes the eighth baseball stadium to place host to the NHL’s Winter Classic.

The Kraken will skate in their first outdoor game in just their third NHL season while this marks Vegas’ second outdoor tilt after they dropped a 3-2 decision to the Colorado Avalanche at Lake Tahoe in February of 2021.

Seattle Kraken Golden Knights Winter Classic
Seattle Kraken Golden Knights Winter Classic

We’re pretty excited,” Kraken CEO Tod Lewieke said, “I think in some regards these things we hoped would happen, these are the things we dreamed would happen. But it’s a great honor that in our third season, we’re going to host, really, an international event.”

“This is a big deal. Every other team thinks about this kind of event and every other team wants to host these events,” Leiweke said. “We had to make our case. The city is great at big events. But it did fundamentally require a partnership between the Mariners, beautiful T-Mobile, and the whole organization.”

Venue, Location One of a Kind

There are certainly some unique aspects to the location and venue where the 2024 event will take place.

For one, Seattle is set to become the first Pacific Division club to host the Winter Classic. The event has never been played west of the Central time zone. Additionally, this will be a weather-protected outdoor game as T-Mobile sports a retractable roof that can be used in case of detrimental weather conditions. The 2021 event at Lake Tahoe is a perfect example of the importance of a roof as Vegas’ contest with Colorado was delayed by eight hours due to weather.

“The roof doesn’t hurt,” Leiweke said, “So, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, [we’ll be able] to slide a roof over so we’ll have an outdoor game, weather protected. A big factor was the Mariners’ willingness to lean in.”

With the Kraken enjoying a resurgent sophomore season, a clash with the Golden Knight seems appropriate on New Year’s day of 2024.

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