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01-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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A Fistful of Dollars
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It has been denied by the NHL.

The National Hockey League yesterday shot down House Speaker Robert DeLeo’s lobbying efforts to make Boston the permanent host of the league’s annual outdoor Winter Classic.

The Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau estimates the third annual event will inject $36 million into the local economy after 2 weeks of events wrap up this weekend inside Fenway Park [map]. Rep. DeLeo (D-Winthrop) wanted the city to continue to reap those benefits with a yearly game featuring the Boston Bruins [team stats].

But NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said the number of similar requests from other cities is growing rapidly.

“. . . The dictates of fairness require the league to share the Winter Classic experience with other cities,” he said in a letter to DeLeo. “One truly special attribute of the Winter Classic is its uniqueness, and we intend to preserve that precious resource on behalf of our clubs, our business partners and our fans.”

Bettman didn’t rule out bringing back the Classic to Boston at some point. “Based on its outstanding performance as our host city in 2010, Boston is - and will be - considered in an extremely favorable light when Winter Classic sites and participants are being considered in the years to come,” he wrote.

The Winter Classic is a great way to sell the city, DeLeo said.

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