Alright, good news and bad news: the Winter Classic is definitely coming to Philadelphia on January 2, 2012. The Flyers will host the New York Rangers. That much was confirmed earlier this week when season ticket holders began receiving their ticket packages in the mail, with the nice little note pictured at left.
That's where the bad news comes in: Hey, we're hosting the Winter Classic, but you paid for 43 home games, not 44 this year. Sorry about that! (Note that it includes some preseason contests, hence the 43.)
I'm not sure if the Flyers told season ticket holders this before they put deposits down on their seats this year, but one would assume they did not considering the secrecy about the Winter Classic to this point. Then again, as long as they charged for 43 games and not 44 (going to assume that they did), it shouldn't be too big of a deal.
This is commonplace for the Winter Classic, though. Flyers season ticket holders will get the first opportunity to purchase Winter Classic ticket packages, up to as many seats as they have at the Wells Fargo Center. Penguins fans had to pay extra last season for the 2011 game at Heinz Field as well, so it's not as if we're getting the short end of the stick here.
Now that we know the process with ticketing is similar to last year's game in Pittsburgh, we can make some assumptions on how the rest of the ticketing process will play out. If it's the exact same system, season ticket holders have the first option, as do those who own suites at the Wells Fargo Center.
The NHL and the New York Rangers will also have a certain number of tickets allotted to them, and it's likely that the Phillies will have an allotment of seats as well. As has been tradition, some tickets will be given away to local youth hockey groups as well. We're not sure at this point if partial season ticket plan holders will have the opportunity to buy tickets before the general public.
From there, any remaining tickets should go on sale in October or November, and there will be a lottery for those seats, much like that for Phillies playoff games. Winners of that lottery should win the opportunity to purchase two seats to the game, as they did last year.
Keep in mind that these aren't official details. We're just going off of precedent here. The game still hasn't been announced by the NHL, after all. Citizens Bank Park is a much smaller venue than Heinz Field too, so once it gets to the lottery phase, there might not be many seats up for grabs.
None of us assumed that it'd be easy to get tickets to this game without being a season ticket holder, but when all is said and done, I'd be prepared to pay quite a bit of money on StubHub or something if you want to guarantee your attendance.
Stick tap to Crossing Broad for being first on the season ticket plan details of this story back on Saturday.