Blackhawks Extend Winter Classic to Wrigleyville Streets

Game will feature outdoor fan festivities, promotions

The Winter Classic is, without equivocation, shaping up to be a truly huge Chicago-area event. Maybe we're too excited for the game. But hockey in Wrigley, on Jan. 1 -- even despite the weather, that's something to be pretty excited about. And if the Blackhawks have proven anything this year (besides the fact that they're a pretty good young hockey team), it's that they know how to squeeze as much as possible out of their promotion department. That's what happens when you hire John McDonough. That's the idea, anyway.

In that vein, the Blackhawks today announced something we hadn't anticipated: Starting with a Wednesday, Dec. 31 broadcast of the team's practices, the Blackhawks will be hosting a fan appreciation and recreation event in the streets outside Wrigley Field. Among the niceties listed:

-- Air hockey
-- Food and beverage tents
-- Live music
-- Raffles and ticket giveaways
-- "Interactive hockey-themed entertainment," whatever that means

You get the idea. It's going to be a big festival atmosphere outside the stadium, meaning you no longer have to have a ticket to go be really cold and enjoy some outdoor hockey. Everybody freezes, and everybody wins.

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