Nationals Park to host Winter Classic

— -- The Washington Capitals will celebrate New Year's Day 2015 with an outdoor game at Nationals Park, a source confirmed to Sunday.

The Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the Major League Baseball stadium in the NHL's annual Winter Classic outdoor game on Jan. 1. The stadium, home to the  Washington Nationals, has been the preferred location for the game from the moment it was formally announced almost a year ago the Capitals would host the event.

Ironing out the final details took longer than expected, but those issues have been resolved and a formal announcement regarding the site will take place in the near future, a source told

The NHL did look at other options in the Washington area including FedEx Field, where the  Washington Redskins play their home games, and RFK Stadium, the team's former home. Neither was a serious contender.

The Capitals will be hosting their first Winter Classic after being the visiting team in Pittsburgh in 2011. The Blackhawks hosted the second Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in 2009. They also hosted an outdoor game after the Sochi Olympics at Soldier Field last winter as part of the NHL's Stadium Series of outdoor contests.

The Nationals Park game will mark the fourth Winter Classic to be held in a baseball stadium, following Wrigley, Fenway Park and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.