The Ice Bowl Cometh!

Tomorrow is the day! January 1, 2008!

Yes it is HOCKEY FANS! New Year’s Day the Pittsburg Penguins play the Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the NFL?s Bills. That’s right - they are playing hockey at the football stadium!

It’s an outdoor event and it is the buzz around town.

We’ve been watching them transform the Bills turf into an ice rink and all the work that is involved. The weather has been fair and has allowed them to work non-stop on it for the past several days. They are putting the finishing touches on it so that it is ready for Tuesday.

They sold out 70,000 tickets in 40 minutes! Personally, I am past the age of sitting outside and freezing to cheer on my team, but if I were younger I would have had the first ticket! The hockey players will have heated seats to sit on to keep them warm - the fans will have to rely on layers and layers of clothing (and lots of alcohol most likely! Oh yes - I worked the stadium - cooking - for years - the colder it gets the more they drink to keep warm!)

At least it is being televised on NBC so we can enjoy it! And since it is being aired nationally - everyone can watch it!

They say that this is going to have the largest audience ever watching a hockey game in the country.

Game time is 1:00 PM (eastern time).

For all you hockey fans (or should I say hockey nuts??) - do you remember back on November 22, 2003 when the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers played in ?The Heritage Classic? at Edmonton?s Commonwealth Stadium? They played in sub-freezing temperatures, but was not televised live in the United States and they attracted 55,000 people.

Our stores in the area are already scheduling the beer trucks to be parked in their lots to make sure they are well stocked for the day; restaurants have doubled their staff and are loading their freezers and coolers in preparation for the event; hotels and motels are gearing up and the supermarkets are prepared to make all those tailgating goodies the fans go for.

Our Canadian neighbors are crossing over as well to enjoy the game! And the tailgating will be phenomenal with all the recipes our tailgaters have come up with. It is definitely a party city!

Of course I am hoping that the Sabres win - but we’ll see what happens that day. Throwing a spiral during a football game in our bad weather is bad enough and I don’t think the puck will have a much trouble as a football - but depending on the conditions of the ice, the temperature and the weather - many things are not quite settled yet for the game - like time outs, etc.

So far they are predicting 6 - 12 inches of snow at puck drop - but our weather changes so fast we’ll just have to wait and see. Cripe - all we need is lake effect and a total white out!

So grab your tailgating recipes and pull up a chair - and cheer on the brave men that are going to play hockey outside (possibly in a storm!) in front of the whole country!

It’s here! Over 72.000 fans freezing their butts off in the snow (which is moderate now and supposed to get heavier) watching the first outdoor hcokey game!

Puck drop at 1:22 PM eastern time today!

Go SABRES!