NEW YORK -- The National Hockey League’s transformation of Wrigley Field for Winter Classic 2009 will extend to the area outside the historic venue, it was announced today.
On Wednesday, Dec. 31, and Thursday, Jan. 1, the corner of West Waveland and North Clark Streets will become Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a free outdoor hockey and entertainment fan festival, in celebration of the New Year’s Day outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Red Wings at Wrigley. Weather permitting, fans of all ages can enjoy two fun-filled days of free entertainment, including a live musical performance, interactive hockey-themed attractions, an ice sculpting display, roving entertainment, chances to win tickets to the Winter Classic game and the 2009 All-Star Game in Montreal, and more.
During the two-day festival, fans will be able to enjoy a game of air hockey in the food and beverage tent and purchase officially licensed Winter Classic 2009 merchandise in the NHL retail area. Honda will showcase its 2009 Honda Ridgeline and its 2009 Honda Pilot. NHL Network street teams will review programming information with fans.
On Dec. 31, the day’s events will begin at 11 a.m. with the exclusive live NHL Network broadcast of the Blackhawks and Red Wings team practices from Wrigley Field. Fans in Winter Classic Spectator Plaza will be able to view the team practices on a 14-foot x 18-foot LED video screen. WGN Radio 720 AM will broadcast live from Spectator Plaza on Wednesday and will give away a pair of Winter Classic tickets to one lucky fan.
Game-day festivities begin at Spectator Plaza at 9 a.m. on Jan. 1. Six professional face painters, four juggles and four stilt walkers from Chicago-based Productions USA, Inc. will provide roving entertainment. Local band, Maggie Speaks, will perform live from 9:45 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The Blackhawks will play host to the Red Wings at Wrigley Field in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. The game will be the 701st all-time meeting of the clubs – no NHL opponents have played more regular-season games against each other. Face-off is at 1 p.m. ET. NBC will provide live broadcast coverage of the game in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Network in the U.S. and Canada will provide live broadcast coverage, including the team outdoor practices on Dec. 31 and pre-game and post-game shows on New Year’s Day. NHL Radio will provide coverage for radio stations across North America and NHL.com will provide extensive editorial and video coverage. Winter Classic will be the second regular-season outdoor NHL game played in the United States and the third regular-season outdoor game in league history.
WHAT: NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza, a free outdoor hockey and entertainment fan festival, in celebration of the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic New Year’s Day outdoor game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings.
WHEN: Wednesday, Dec. 31, from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Thursday, Jan. 1, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
WHERE: Wrigley Field parking lot on the corner of West Waveland Street and North Clark Street in downtown Chicago