When the Winter Classic was held in St. Louis back in 2017, the weather sucked. It was so foggy, and so damp, that the game had to be bumped back a day to accommodate the weather. The weather, however, did not accommodate the game, so this is what fans were treated to:
The Arch is back there somewhere, I promise.
The weather was so bad that the NHL even had to have contingency plans that involved, of all things, completing the game in February.
Luckily for tomorrow, it’s just supposed to be cloudy. And freezing.
The NHL fully expects the game to go off without a hitch, even though they’re going to actually have to heat the ice to prevent it from cracking. After all, the Heritage Classic in Edmonton back in 2003 was played when it was literally 0 degrees outside, and fans who attended the 2014 Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium had a blast finding new and exciting ways to stay warm in the 13 degree weather.
Tomorrow, and this goes without saying, bundle up. Layers are your friend, as are hand warmers, the thickest coat you own, and a few pairs of socks. In 2014, folks that I know used Fireball to stay toasty, but honestly, below zero temperature calls for something a little sturdier than cinnamon flavored whiskey. Might I suggest a hot Irish coffee?
For today, the nice folks from ExploreMinnesota.com sent us a guide to things to do around Target Field and in the lovely cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul:
Minneapolis, home of the 2022 NHL Winter Classic
The NHL Winter Classic will take place at Target Field, an outdoor MLB stadium in downtown Minneapolis with fantastic skyline views and some of the best stadium amenities in the country. While in Minneapolis, fans can check out award-winning restaurants, the arts and cultural scene, and nightlife offerings.
For outdoor recreation, the city’s Theodore Wirth Park has 20 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails with taproom stops and big city views. Music lovers can venture just outside the city to Paisley Park, Prince’s private estate and production complex turned museum.
St. Paul, the Hockey City
Some say the heart of hockey in Minnesota beats in St. Paul. Home to the Minnesota Wild, the city’s historic downtown proudly displays a statue of the legendary “Miracle on Ice” coach Herb Brooks, a St. Paul native, next to Herbie’s on the Park, a restaurant and social club in the coach’s honor. Another destination for every hockey history fan is Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub on West 7th Street. Owned by the eponymous Minnesota North Star and Wild radio analyst, Tom Reid’s is a fixture before and after games and showcases over 400 pieces of impressive hockey memorabilia.
West 7th Street winds from the Xcel Energy Center along the Mississippi River bluffs through a charming neighborhood filled with historic homes and landmarks, acclaimed restaurants and breweries, and Keg & Case market, one of several new food halls in the Twin Cities.
Before the Winter Classic tomorrow, the NHL will be hosting their annual fan event. The Truly Hard Seltzer NHL Pregame (yeesh) will be held in the Target Center and outside along 1st Avenue and North 6th Street. They’ll have games, prizes, the fun Upper Deck “make your own trading card” station that was at the 2020 All Star Game’s FanFest at Union Station, and a concert from Viva Knievel. The festivities will last from 12:30-5:30, which should give you plenty of time to enjoy the fun and get to your seats for puck drop.
Please be mindful of local health and safety regulations and protocols for the event, stay warm, and have fun tomorrow! If anyone has any additional tips, like where to ring in the New Year or where to get a bloody mary tomorrow morning, please leave them in the comments.