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Winter Classic Alumni Game Start Time Now 3 P.M. Due To Poor Ice Conditions

PHILADELPHIA -- The Winter Classic Alumni Game, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park, has been pushed back to 3 p.m. ET thanks to poor ice conditions. Gates to the ballpark will open at 1 p.m., while parking in the Sports Complex will now open at 9 a.m. Spectator Plaza outside the ballpark will have the same hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Despite the fact that it's going to be unseasonably warm in Philadelphia all weekend long, it's not a matter of temperature that's causing the soft ice conditions. Rather, it's the sun beating down directly on the ice surface that'll be keeping Dan Craig and his crew busy over the next 24 hours and probably beyond.

We had a chance to skate on the ice today at 2 p.m., and while I don't consider myself the world's foremost expert on ice quality, you can certainly tell it's a bit soft. Some parts of the ice are worse than others in that sense -- mostly on the first base half of the ice, where it seemed the sun baked it a bit more.

It's also a little rough and bumpy in the corners, but that's something that can be tinkered over the next 24 hours or so until the Flyers and Rangers alumni get underway.

The hope now is that it's not an overly sunny day on Monday, because we don't want the same scenario come game time between the Flyers and Rangers that day.

For more on this year's Winter Classic, head over to SB Nation's Rangers blog Blueshirt Banter and Flyers blog Broad Street Hockey. For everything Winter Classic in the build-up to the game, head over to our NHL Winter Classic StoryStream.