Sabres-Leafs take their rivalry outdoors in Heritage Classic

NHL Hockey

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP)The Buffalo Sabres’ cross-border rivalry against the Toronto Maple Leafs is heading outdoors.

The Sabres are listed as the home team against the Maple Leafs in the NHL’s Heritage Classic, to be played at Tim Hortons Field, home of the Canadian Football League’s Hamilton Tiger-Cats, on March 13, the league announced Thursday.

Buffalo becomes the first U.S.-based team to compete in what will be the sixth Heritage Classic, which is part of the NHL’s outdoor series of games and traditionally set in Canada featuring matchups of Canadian teams. In choosing Hamilton, Ontario, as a host, the NHL selected a site that is essentially the mid-point of the 100-mile drive separating the Atlantic Division rivals.

The NHL had previously scheduled two outdoor games for the upcoming season. St. Louis will play at Minnesota in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, and Tampa Bay will play at Nashville on Feb. 26.

The Sabres hosted the league’s first Winter Classic in 2008 and will be competing in their third regular-season outdoor game. The Maple Leafs have appeared in three previous outdoor games during the regular season.

The Tiger-Cats stadium is a multi-purpose facility which opened in 2014. The stadium’s capacity for CFL games is listed at 24,000 but can be expanded to 40,000.

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