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Out-of-town fans brace for subzero Winter Classic

The forecast looks grim for the Winter Classic on Saturday night when the Minnesota Wild face off against the St. Louis Blues.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Gordon family bought tickets for the Winter Classic months ago, knowing full well that New Year's Day temperatures in Minnesota would likely be much colder than their native St. Louis.

But the Gordons, who hold season tickets for the St. Louis Blues, hoped the forecast for their game against the Minnesota Wild would at least call for something above zero on Saturday night.

Not lows of negative 20.

"That's a little extreme," Mike Gordon said. "My wife kept reading and following the weather up here for the past week and, every time, she said it kept getting colder and colder and colder."

So they kept buying layers and new winter clothes.

"If we stay up here any longer we're basically going to be buying ourselves a whole new wardrobe," Gordon said. "We'll be walking around like the Michelin Man."

When the game starts at 6 p.m., temperatures are expected to hover a few degrees below zero, but they could plummet even further during the second and third periods.

But Lauren McCulley, another Blues season ticket holder who traveled from St. Louis for the Winter Classic, said she never considered canceling the trip.

"No, absolutely not," she said. "It's a hockey fan's dream to experience this cold of weather in an outdoor hockey game."

As Blues fans rush to buy new winter coats, however, locals of the Upper Midwest remain unfazed.

Rory Titterington, a Wild fan from Sioux Falls, S.D., said he's not too worried about the forecast.

"I'm really not," Titterington said. "I'll wear a coat, bundle up, and I think we'll be good."

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Even with visiting Blues fans swirling around downtown Minneapolis on Friday afternoon, he doesn't harbor any bad feelings toward the out-of-towners.

"It's good they're coming up to represent their team," Titterington said. "But, hopefully minus-three will freeze them out just a little bit."

For perspective, consider the fact that the high temperatures in St. Louis on Friday were in the sixties.

And back in 2017, when St. Louis hosted the Winter Classic at Busch Stadium, temperatures were around the freezing mark and there was even some rain.

"This is the true way of saying," Ryan Gordon said, "that the hockey gods are paying the St. Louis fans back that went to the 2017 Winter Classic, and giving us the full rundown of just, you're gonna be out there, you're gonna be freezing and it's gonna be cold. But that's the only way you can truly enjoy the sport of hockey."

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