Winter Classic: Build It and They Will Come

Field crews start building rink as TV producers discuss plans

Yesterday, we covered the Cubs' promotional "neighborhood skate day," at which neighbors and Chicago residents will have the chance to skate on Wrigley a few days after the Winter Classic on Jan. 1. To that point, it was the only news we had about the Winter Classic, and it wasn't even so related.

Suddenly, today, there is a glut of information out there about the Classic, including how those of us at home will be viewing the event. The Chicago Tribune's Fred Mitchell and the Sun-Times' Len Ziehm spoke with NBC producers about the ways they're planning on framing the event and, we'll admit it: it sounds pretty awesome.

"The most important cool tool we have is the airplane again; you never see a hockey game from that perspective," [NBC Sports Producer Sam] Flood said. "But this isn't about toys, it's about the event. We have a ton of cameras. We have cameras everywhere — from high up in the right-field bleachers, to a camera in the scoreboard, to rink-level cameras, to a roving camera that can go to some of the great parties on the rooftops across the street. This is a game you want to shoot wide so you see the whole spectacle."

Ah yes, shots of rooftop partiers. No sports outing at Wrigley would be complete without them.

Coincidentally, these production details are surfacing on the same day as Wrigley and Blackhawks construction crews began that most important of tasks: setting up the rink at Wrigley. Bleed Cubbie Blue has some semi-interesting photos today. The contents largely look as one would imagine, lots of packing boxes and snow-covered platforms and the occasional small crane-looking thing. It's only the beginning, but already we have the feeling the finished product is going to be, well ... awesome.

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