Speculation growing that Minnesota could host 2021 Winter Classic

Will it soon be time to "flood the rink" at Target Field?
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Having debuted in 2008, the State of Hockey has yet to host an NHL Winter Classic. 

That could be changing as the Minnesota Wild are considered a frontrunner to host the annual New Year's Day outdoor game in 2021, according to a report (paywall) from Michael Russo of The Athletic. 

Per the report, an announcement could make the rumor official in about three weeks, with the 2021 Winter Classic being played at Target Field as part of a week of festivities surrounding the event. 

If Minnesota does get to host its first Winter Classic, ESPN's Greg Wyshynski is reporting that potential opponents for the Wild are the Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Colorado Avalanche and Winnipeg Jets. 

The Wild have played in one outdoor game – a Stadium Series game against the Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium in 2016. 

The Winter Classic has long been rumored to be a possibility in Minneapolis in 2021, with Russo first claiming to be "cautiously optimistic" about the city's chances this past August. 

Target Field has hosted many marquee sporting events outside of Major League Baseball, including a Tommy-Johnny football rivalry and North Dakota State football's season opener this past August. 

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