The Winter Classic is in exactly two weeks at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, and while the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers continue with their December schedules, the NHL officially took over the ballpark on Monday in preparation for the game and all the festivities that surround it.
The league's state-of-the-art refrigeration truck is on scene, parked outside the ballpark on Hartranft Street. Piping from the truck will run out of the truck into the stadium through a window, according to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, and then it will travel 450 feet across the center field concourse and down a long Erector set-looking channel to field level.
Citizens Bank Park proves a unique challenge for the crew building the rink, as the field is substantially lower than street level. At Wrigley Field and Fenway Park, the field is much closer to the street, both in distance and height, but it's not an issue that's insurmountable. Dan Craig, the NHL's ice guru, just has to figure out the right calculations in that extremely complicated ice truck.
This is the big week for the rink build crew. Boards will go up soon, and temporary bleachers have already been set up in the outfield at the ballpark. The hope is that the crew will be able to return home for Christmas next weekend, returning to put on the finishing touches next week.
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