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Finishing touches for NHL Winter Classic rink

by Adam Vingan

WASHINGTON -- Preparations at Nationals Park for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 1 (1 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA) are nearing completion.

"We've got all the ice markings in, logos are almost completely in," NHL senior director of facilities operation Dan Craig said. "We'll put in our big center logo at 4 p.m. here, seal it all in."

PHOTOS: Lines and logos go in

Near 5 p.m., the center-ice logo was halfway finished. With an 80 percent chance of rain here Sunday, Craig's crew will work until around 9 p.m. to stay on schedule.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals will practice at the ballpark Wednesday, though the rink will be in use starting Tuesday.

"Every time that we do something, we have our challenges," Craig said. "Mother Nature just tries to throw little curveballs at us. We had quite a bit of rain [earlier this week]. We deal with it. It's just one of those things; you wake up in the morning and make it work."

Construction continued on the Feature Rink in center field, which the teams will use as an entrance ramp during introductions, and where local youth hockey players will play during the NHL game. A replica of the U.S. Capitol dome was in the process of being completed and the surface will be painted light blue.

Signage adorned every corner of Nationals Park, with cushions featuring the NHL Winter Classic logo filling most of the seats.

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