Bears, Penguins to head outside

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The Hershey Bears, in conjunction with the American Hockey League, announced on Saturday night that the club will host an outdoor game to be played at Hersheypark Stadium next winter.

The announcement was made during a pre-game ceremony by Bears President/GM Doug Yingst.

The game is scheduled for Sunday, January 20, 2013, and will be the marquee event in honoring 75 years of Hershey Bears hockey. The Bears will face off against their rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins outside in the elements at one of the most recognizable and historic venues in the country.

“In 30 years of my involvement with the Hershey Bears Hockey Club and the Hershey community, I’ve had no greater pride than I have now in bringing an American Hockey League outdoor game right here to Hershey next season,” Yingst said.

American Hockey League President/CEO David Andrews was on hand for the announcement, also addressing the sellout crowd from a podium adorned with the Bears’ 75th anniversary logo.

“This is a deserving honor for the community of Hershey as you celebrate a milestone season,” Andrews said. “Congratulations in hosting what promises to be a wonderful experience in January, and we’ll see you there.”

Capital BlueCross has also been announced as the proud presenting sponsor of the game.

This will be one of two outdoor games scheduled to be played in the American Hockey League during the 2012-13 season. The Grand Rapids Griffins and Toronto Marlies will skate at Comerica Park in Detroit as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival leading up to the 2013 NHL Winter Classic.

Four other outdoor games have been staged in AHL history. Games in Syracuse (2010), Hartford (2011) and Philadelphia (2012) all established single-game AHL attendance records, and the game in Hamilton (2012) was the highest-attended AHL game ever played in Canada.

Hershey Bears season ticket holders will have the first opportunity to purchase tickets to the outdoor game beginning on Monday, June 18.

Information on a public on-sale date for the 2013 outdoor game between the Hershey Bears and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins will be announced in the upcoming months.