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Public will be able to have own 'Classic' moment

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Public will be able to have own 'Classic' moment
The players involved in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic won't be the only ones skating outside in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day. A second full-size rink will be built next to Heinz Field for public use.
The outdoor hockey in Pittsburgh on New Year's Day won't be limited to the inside of Heinz Field.

Public skating sessions and youth hockey games will be featured on an outdoor rink being built at the new Stage AE, adjacent to Heinz Field, as part of the week-long celebration of hockey leading up to the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

The NHL-size rink, located in the Stage AE parking lot, will be open to the public from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2, and will be known as the Winter Classic Community Rink at Stage AE.

The boards and Zambonis from Civic Arena, the former home of the Penguins, will be part of the rink.

There will be public skating sessions most days, including Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve. There also will be a number of youth hockey events, including an international AAA bantam tournament featuring two Pittsburgh Penguins Elite teams (one coached by Penguins legend Mario Lemieux) and the Washington Junior Capitals.

"Building a second outdoor rink will enable so many people in the Pittsburgh area to take part in the celebration of the Winter Classic," said Penguins Chief Executive Officer David Morehouse. "Skating outdoors in the shadow of Heinz Field, with the city skyline and Mount Washington as the backdrop, will be an incredible experience for all involved.

"We'll also be able to host a number of youth hockey events, to give these kids the thrill of playing outdoors as part of this once-in-a-lifetime Winter Classic week."