PHILADELPHIA -- The forecast for Jan. 2 in Philadelphia is calling for a clear day and temperatures in the mid-40s, according to NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli.
However, the NHL staff working at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday is dealing with rain that started late Tuesday morning and is scheduled to last well into the night.
Renzulli told NHL.com that the soaking is expected to be only a hiccup in the schedule largely because so much of the larger tasks, such as the rink-build, staging, camera perches, broadcast studio sets and temporary bleachers already are in place for the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
"We're expecting about an inch of rain, but we got a lot of stuff done (Tuesday) morning and then we'll start to move inside and do the things we need to do to stay dry," Renzulli told NHL.com. "We still have locker rooms to complete. We'll put matting down and carpeting down. It's getting organized so (Wednesday) we can play catch-up on the stuff that didn't get done (Tuesday).
"As you look around, all the big stuff is down on the field, so I'm not worried about that now. It's all about tightening up now."
Construction at Spectator Plaza began early Tuesday with more than a half-dozen tents being erected. Renzulli said the tents are important because they give the workers a place to dry off. Spectator Plaza, which will be located on Citizens Bank Way, opens at 9 a.m. on Dec. 31.
"(The rain) will probably hold us up a bit, but a lot of tenting is going up, so once they get one up they'll stay dry as best as they can and then we'll just keep moving," Renzulli said. "I don't anticipate it'll put us that far behind. We have time built in to catch up."
Winter Classic draping also was going up on the ballpark facades starting early Tuesday, and the work continued as the rain got heavier into the 2 p.m. hour.
Renzulli said work still can be completed on the draping during the rain, but the bigger concern is the wind in the forecast for Wednesday.
"We're supposed to get 40 mph gusts (Wednesday), so we have to make sure it's tied down properly and hopefully we don't get any tears," Renzulli said.