In February, 1st Mariner Arena officials said they were close to finalizing a deal with the Washington Capitals to bring the Baltimore Hockey Classic back to the arena in September. The Capitals made it official Thursday, announcing that they would play a preseason game in Baltimore on September 26.
The Capitals, who are presently playing the Boston Bruins in the first round of the NHL playoffs, will host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second annual Baltimore Hockey Classic at 1st Mariner Arena.
"We are excited to return to Baltimore," Capitals president Dick Patrick said in a statement on the team's official website. "The overwhelming support from the city of Baltimore and our fans in Maryland made this decision to return for a second consecutive season an easy one."
Last September, an announced sellout crowd of 11,082 witnessed the first pro ice hockey game in Baltimore since 1997. The Capitals lost, 2-0, to the Nashville Predators. The arena experienced issues with the ice surface, but arena officials are confident it will run more smoothly this year. The event pumped $1 million into the local economy, according to the Maryland Office of Sports Marketing.
"They're looking at it as we have this big, old market up there with hungry fans, and they're going to tap into it," 1st Mariner Arena general manager Frank Remesch told The Baltimore Sun in February.
The puck will drop Wednesday, Sept. 26. at 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 23, at 10 a.m.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun