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OSU to face off against Michigan outdoors at Progressive Field

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The rivalry between Ohio State and Michigan is about to get a little chillier.

The OSU men’s hockey team will take on Michigan outdoors in the “Frozen Diamond Faceoff” at Progressive Field, home of the Cleveland Indians, on Jan. 15, 2012, at 5:05 p.m.

This will be the first outdoor collegiate hockey game in the state of Ohio.

OSU will be the home team in the neutral-site game and it will be played on a regulation-sized rink.

Mark Shapiro, president of the Cleveland Indians, said in a Thursday press conference that he expects a full house for the game. Capacity at Progressive Field is 43,441.

“We expect the place to be sold out,” he said. “I think recognizing how passionate the fan base is for Ohio State, recognizing that Michigan fans are extremely mobile and there also are a lot in the state of Ohio, and again the rivalry, we think (it) certainly sparks some interest.”

Shapiro said the game will be a “unique” event, but they are staying “open and flexible” to hosting future hockey games, he said.

This will be second time the OSU men’s hockey team has played outdoors.

The Buckeyes previously faced off against Wisconsin in Lambeau Field, the home of the Green Bay Packers, on Feb. 11, 2006. OSU lost 4-2.

Michigan has played in three outdoor games, including a game in 2010 at Michigan Stadium versus Michigan State. The game set a world record for attendance at a hockey game with 85,451 fans in attendance, according to the Guiness Book of World Records.

Prior to Thursday’s announcement, the official OSU athletics website, ohiostatebuckeyes.com, changed the venue for the game against Michigan scheduled for Jan. 14, 2012, from Value City Arena to “TBA.”

The game will be a part of “Indians Snow Days,” the second season-long event running from Nov. 25 through Jan. 16 at Progressive Field, in which fans can ice skate and snow tube at the stadium.

A presale for tickets will be made available for students in the coming weeks at ohiostatebuckeyes.com.

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