MINNEAPOLIS — Is anyone surprised that possibly the coldest NHL outdoor event is still a go?
"It may be a little colder than usual, it might be a little colder than we've ever played in, but we're very confident about playing the game," NHL Senor Executive Vice President Steve Mayer said of Saturday's Winter Classic, which could be played in subzero temperatures.
Mayer added that the cold is a part of what hockey is supposed to be.
"Playing hockey on lakes, and for most of our players this is how they started," Mayer said. "So having the cold weather and the energy it presents, we know that for our players at the NHL, this is the game they wait for the regular season."
Minneapolis Downtown Council CEO Steve Cramer is already noticing signs that the big event is happening.
"I've already seen St louis Blues fans walking around," he said. He added that the cold would be perfect for memory-making.
"You remember back, 'When I was at the Winter Classic 20 years ago, 20 below wind chill, that was great!'" he said. "We embrace weather here, we prepare for it, we soldier on and it's going to be a great event."
And what a way for downtown to make a splash in the new year.
"It does demonstrate that downtown is alive, a great place to come and enjoy like you did in the past," Cramer said. "So we're open for business and events like this kind of cement that perception that we continue to emphasize."
NHL officials are encouraging people to dress sensibly for the event and encouraged bringing layers and blankets. Mayer said there will be plenty of heated areas for people to warm up in, and that there will be medical personnel on hand, just in case.
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