The National Hockey League (NHL) has come to their senses and realized that you cannot safely play a hockey game when it is 50 degrees out and raining. So the NHL and NBC Sports have announced that the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic start time will be pushed back to 8:00 PM ET on Saturday, January 1, 2011.
Here is the official announcement:
The National Hockey League announced today the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change the original 1 p.m. (ET) start time on New Year's Day to 8 p.m. (ET). The decision was based on the latest meteorological reports, which have advised an approaching front of potentially steady rain expected to fall through the afternoon and taper off by early evening, and after consultation with the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Washington Capitals, national broadcast partners (NBC, CBC, RDS), the Pittsburgh Steelers, the National Hockey League Players' Association, and local officials.NBC Sports will still offer Winter Classic programming in the original 1:00 to 4:00 PM broadcast window, as discussed in this release:
We have been further advised that cooler and drier air conditions are expected in the evening with the passing of the front. The NHL feels that it was important to make this announcement at this time so as to minimize the inconvenience to all parties associated with the event, especially our fans.
All 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic tickets will continue to be honored and all ticket holder agreement language remains unchanged.
ADDITIONAL WINTER CLASSIC PROGRAMMING TO FILL ORIGINAL 1-4 P.M. ET WINDOWThanks to Geoff Butler for the headline idea!
NEW YORK – December 31, 2010 – Due to expected steady rain throughout tomorrow afternoon, the NHL has announced that the start time of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will change from 1 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET. NBC Sports will still fill the original Winter Classic programming window of 1-4 p.m. ET with Winter Classic content such as live interviews and taped coverage of previous Winter Classics.
NBC SPORTS’ UPDATED NEW YEAR’S DAY PROGRAMMING
1-4 p.m. ET Winter Classic Programming
4-6 p.m. ET ADT Skills Challenge (golf)
8 p.m. ET 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic