DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – On New Year’s Day, the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic is expected to be one of the hottest tickets in North Texas.
“This is our Super Bowl,” NHL Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer said. “Nothing bigger, nothing grander.”
Around 85,000 fans are expected to pack the Cotton Bowl to watch the Dallas Stars take on the Nashville Predators.
“There’s 20,000 tickets that we sold to Nashville fans and that’s unprecedented in any of these outdoor games,” Mayer said. “This has to be greater than any other game we have ever done.”
He said economic impact will be substantial – potentially bringing in $30 million.
Transforming a football stadium into a giant ice rink is no easy task. So far, the rink has been constructed and lines and logos have been put on the ice.
A refrigeration unit will pump thousands of gallons of coolant into the trays under the ice, keeping it at around 22 degrees.
As New Year’s Day approaches, the NHL is watching the forecast closely. There’s the possibility of rain.
“We’ve played in the rain before,” Mayer said. “Last year in Philadelphia, it rained throughout the entire game. The only thing we need to delay is probably for a significant downpour, right now we’re not seeing that.”
Leading up to Wednesday’s game there will be a fan fest. The game starts at 1:00 p.m.