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NHL NEWS – Winter Classic will be ode to New York

August 23, 2019


Winter Classic will be ode to New York NEW YORK — The 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will pay tribute to the cityscape where it will be played. Citi Field, the home of Major League Baseballs New York Mets, is the host of the 2018 Winter Classic, the 10th anniversary of the Leagues traditional New Years Day game, between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres on Monday (1 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports, NHL.TV). It will capture an urban landscape featuring real New York City yellow taxi cabs moving around a grid of streets adjacent to the rink. The theme continues the annual efforts to tie the game presentation into the area where each outdoor game is played. Last season, the Winter Classic in St. Louis was linked to the Gateway Arch, which loomed just outside the outfield wall of Busch Stadium. The 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles had beach volleyball, yoga and the marching band from the University of Southern California all featured prominently during the game between the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks. Here in New York, we are theming it to New York City streets, taxi cabs and everything that goes along with that, NHL executive vice president and chief content officer Steve Mayer said Wednesday. Its going to be amazing to see and there will be no question from the look and feel of the game that it is being played in the city.. Though the playing surface has been installed, work on the cityscape is just beginning. It is a transformative process that requires vision and many, many hours of work. I will invite anybody to find a blade of grass, Mayer said, looking out at the playing surface covered by decking. We cover every inch of the stadium and transform the stadium so that when people do walk in and they have their ticket — and even if they come to 50 Mets games a year — they are watching something that is completely different than anything that they have experienced at Citi Field. The entertainment will also have a New York feel. The Goo Goo Dolls, who will play during an intermission, are originally from Buffalo and a nod to the Sabres, who played the Pittsburgh Penguins in the inaugural Winter Classic in 2008. Max Weinberg, the drummer from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band that was formed in New Jersey and came to national attention performing at clubs in New York City, is putting together a house band to play throughout the game. Ace Frehley, guitarist of the seminal rock band KISS, which got its start in New York and played its first show in Queens, will open the game with a performance. Though much remains to be done on the game-presentation side, the rink build is ahead of schedule, according to Mayer. Near-perfect rink-building weather — no precipitation and sufficient cloud cover — the past several days has allowed the army of workers at Citi Field to get the ice surface down and the boards up. Well be ready to play hockey on Monday, Mayer said. Everything is ahead of schedule. The weather in New York has been excellent. Its a little cold, but we are used to that. When we do one of these outdoor games, we are prepared for these things.. In the next few days, lines and logos must be put on the ice and the plexiglass still needs to be installed. There is snow in the forecast for Saturday, but it should not impact the rink build. On Sunday, the practice day for the Sabres and Rangers, it is expected to be sunny and 21 degrees Fahrenheit. For Monday, the forecast for the game calls for sunny skies with a high of 19 degrees and a steady breeze.

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