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USA & Canada taking it outside at New Era Field

Posted at 6:04 PM, Oct 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-28 20:11:46-04

After months of anticipation we now know that Team USA will take on Team Canada outdoors at New Era Field when the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships return to Buffalo.

The game will be the first ever IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) game played outdoors. USA and Canada will suqare off on December 29, 2017, sometime during the afternoon, weather permitting. If there is a weather issue, an afternoon puck drop gives organizers flexibility to ensure the game happens. In an extreme instance the game will take place at KeyBank Center. 

Buffalo Sabres season ticket holders and USA Hockey members will be the first allowed to buy tickets with a pre sale beginning on Monday, October 31, 2016. Buffalo Bills season ticket holders can buy tickets pre sale on November 16, 2016. The general public can get tickets on November 28, 2016. For more info on ticket click here.

Organizers believe Buffalo will knock the tournament out of the park while showing off a city undergoing a transformation.

"A lot has changed here in the city and surrounding areas but we expect to do a lot more to make sure the event is a world class event for fans," Buffalo Sabres owner Kim Pegula said. "(We want to make sure) there's a lot of things to do and that people want to stay here, continue to stay here, and come to as many games as they can."

Buffalo first held the IIHF Under 20 World Junior Hockey Championships in 2011. Since, Buffalo has hosted multiple tournaments organized by USA Hockey, but this will be the first time the Under 20 men's tournament returns.

"I think as a city we've come a long way," Sabres VP of Administration Mike Gilbert added. "I think it will be a great opportunity to show people from around the world, from Canada and other places what Buffalo has to offer, and how the new Buffalo has changed in the last few years."

In total, the tournament will feature 33 games played at KeyBank Center, HarborCenter and U.S.A. vs. Canada at New Era Field.