Tag: 2012 Winter Classic

Winter Classic Hockey

Bold ideas for next Winter Classic include Colorado, Florida


The Winter Classic is morphing into a prestige and money-laden event that represents hockey’s best answer to the Super Bowl. In its first five years, the event has bounced around Northeastern cities, but the calls for more exotic locales have been picking up with each passing year.

Here are two especially interesting ideas from today’s round of stories.

Taking the Winter Classic out West

Avalanche beat writer Adrian Dater paints an intriguing picture of a Winter Classic game in Colorado for Sports Illustrated:

Can you picture this?

It’s 25 degrees outside on an early January night and the Detroit Red Wings are taking to the ice against the Colorado Avalanche under the silhouette of the Rocky Mountains. More than 76,000 fans are packed inside Sports Authority Field in Denver, including — brace yourselves — TIM TEBOW.

One of the greatest rivalries in sports history — not just the NHL — is revived for one day at least. And in case the current Avs and Wings wouldn’t be enough of an attraction, there is the alumni game to consider.

I’m not quite sure the NHL should base its Winter Classic planning on the drawing power of a quarterback who might be old news by next year (Tebow), but the overall idea has some appeal. The alumni game would indeed be a beauty since many of those greats just recently retired. (Mike Keane was playing until 2010.)

Florida + retractable roof = gold?

The Miami Marlins have made a lot of noise during their transformation in the MLB’s off-season, so attempting to attract a Winter Classic to their new ballpark seems in character. It almost doesn’t sound completely ridiculous thanks to the building’s retractable roof, either.

Here are some interesting details about the bold idea via a great blog post by George Richards of the Miami Herald.

First, the ballpark would have toclose its retractable roof for about two weeks with the air conditioning running – and humidity lowered – while the ice sheet is built and maintained.

On game day, the roof would open for the outdoor affect.

One can only imagine the scenery an outdoor hockey game in the tropics would produce for a worldwide television audience. That imagery is what the Panthers would sell to the league. It’s a hook no other market has. Sure, Los Angeles has sun and palm trees; it doesn’t have the retractable roof.

Sure, the retractable roof seems kind of like cheating, but Richards writes that it would afford an opportunity to have NHL-quality ice. (That’s not necessarily a claim that could always be made during some of the rougher stretches of some Winter Classic games.) Beyond that, the lure of going to Miami for a combination of a New Year’s celebration and outdoor hockey is so stunning that my liver hurts just thinking about it.


As Richards wrote later on in that piece, a Winter Classic in Florida remains highly unlikely. That being said, the fact that the technology is in place to make that even feasible is exciting enough.

Moving on, tell us: where would you like to see the next Winter Classic? Feel free to base your choice(s) on whatever standards you’d like, from best overall experience to highest degree of difficulty and anything in between.

NHL moves alumni game to 3 p.m. ET on Saturday

Winter Classic Hockey

As we discussed earlier this afternoon, the NHL will indeed change the 2012 Winter Classic’s alumni game’s start time. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi reports that the contest will begin at 3 p.m. ET instead of 1 p.m. ET on Saturday.

Weather.com’s forecast calls for mostly sunny weather with temperatures around 53 degrees around that time – which might actually be a bit warmer than it’s expected to be at 1 p.m. – but perhaps a couple extra hours will give crews enough time to sort the ice out. Versus will carry the alumni game.

Naturally, the bigger worry is how the weather will be on Monday. It’s expected to be considerably cooler, so the 2012 Winter Classic should go off without a hitch. Of course, weather doesn’t always follow the script, so we’ll keep an eye on forecasts as this weekend goes along.

Report: Weather could change start time for alumni game

Winter Classic Hockey
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The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi reports that the 2012 Winter Classic’s alumni game’s start time of 1 pm ET might be moved back a few hours because of weather issues. Previous Winter Classic weather-related worries swirled around too much wind and other problems, but the start time for today’s media skate was reportedly moved because “the sun and warm temperatures were causing havoc on the ice.”

It’s about 50 degrees in Philly right now and it’s expected to be around 51 tomorrow around 1 pm ET tomorrow, so that report does have some merit. Carchidi reports that the NHL would likely make an announcement tonight if it’s determined that a change must be made.

For those who are worried about the same happening for the 2012 Winter Classic, Carchidi reports that it’s expected to be cooler on Monday (and Weather.com’s current forecast seems to agree). Naturally, that could change – Tuesday’s forecast calls for wind and a significant drop in temperature, for example – but the big event doesn’t seem threatened at this point.

I will now step away from my imaginary green screen and hopefully put my meteorological blogging on a lengthy hiatus.

What if the Winter Classic weather is awful?

Winter Classic

In case you were wondering what’s going to happen if Monday’s weather or ice conditions don’t allow the Winter Classic to be played at its scheduled 1 p.m. ET start time – here’s the plan, according to the Canadian Press:

In the event of inclement weather or poor ice conditions, [NHL chief operating officer John] Collins says the contingency plan includes moving the start time back to late afternoon or evening on Jan. 2 or possibly pushing it back to Jan. 3 “if the day really is bad.”

Fortunately the forecast for Monday in Philadelphia remains promising, with just a 20-percent chance of precipitation. It might be windy, but that shouldn’t hold the game up.

Want last-minute tickets to 2012 Winter Classic? It’ll cost you

Winter Classic Hockey

Want to get your hands on the best 2012 Winter Classic tickets that are available? If you base that assessment on cost alone, the asking price for tickets on Terrace 330 are just $9,999 each on StubHub.com as of this writing.

As Dan Gelston’s interesting Associated Press piece shows, the Winter Classic has morphed into a spend-happy spectacle on the scale of marquee events like Wrestlemania, college bowl games and (some might even say) the Super Bowl. Even the alumni games are becoming big business; the most expensive secondary market tickets are at an even $10,000 right now.

(Stubhub estimates that those tickets would arrive on Dec. 30. No word on whether or not they’ll be delivered in a armored vehicle within an envelope made of pure gold.)

Early estimates indicate that about 175,000 fans will attend “open-air events” revolving around the Winter Classic, from college hockey games to public skates.

It all sounds like an overwhelming behemoth of an event, which naturally spawns the next question: which city will be next? That is still to be determined, but the word is that the NHL would eventually like to hash out such plans 14-15 months ahead of time as the Winter Classic evolves.

By then, Stubhub auctioneers might just ask for your mortgage.