Winter Classic 2022: The 2022 outdoor game wasn’t held because the coronavirus-shortened season didn’t begin until mid-January.
But this Winter Classic in the State of Hockey will be special for several reasons:
It will be the first that begins intentionally at night. The 2011 Winter Classic at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field had been moved from the afternoon to the evening because of rain in the forecast.
It will be frigid, with sub-zero temperatures expected. That would make it the coldest NHL outdoor game.
The game is meaningful because the Blues and Wild are battling for the Central Division title. The Blues hold a one-point lead, but the Wild have two games in hand. Both teams are 1-0 in outdoor games.
The game will start at 7 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 1 at Minneapolis’ Target Field, the home of MLB’s Minnesota Twins. It will be the seventh baseball stadium to host the event. Three games were held at NFL stadiums and three at college football stadiums.
The forecasted temperature for the start of the game is -5 and it could drop by 3 to 4 degrees during the game. The coldest NHL outdoor game was the first, the 2003 Heritage Classic in Edmonton, which was 0 at game time. The Minneapolis temperature will feel like -20.
According to NHL.com, the stadium will hand out hand warmers and the concessions stands will serve soup. In addition to the usual heated benches, the penalty box will be heated and the ice will be heated to maintain integrity.