With temperatures in the Chicagoland area zooming up to 13 and 14 degrees Celsius over the last few days and no Northern chill on the horizon, organizers of the Winter Classic are formulating their back up plans should nature turn the Wrigley Ice Field into a giant Slurpee.
While league officials continue to stay the course and say that the game is safe from interruption and that all is set to go, there have been a few news reports out of Chicago have it that the Winter Classic could face a postponement of a day to January 2nd, should the ice not be ready for use on its New Years Day schedule.
The prospect of spring like temperatures on New Years Day in Chicago probably never factored into the deliberations when the Winter Classic was awarded to the Windy City, after all Chicago is known for its cold winds blowing off of Lake Michigan, but in this year of crazy North American weather (snow and ice in Vancouver of all places), it seems the prevailing winds are southern and not northern, leaving Chicago organizers scrambling to try and have a proper rink set to go on January 1st.
The weather forecast calls for temperatures just under freezing for December 31 and January 1, whether that leaves enough time for freezing for the rink designers remains to be seen, but without a cold breeze or two prior to game time, it may be hard to recapture that magic that Buffalo provided this time last year.
This years version of the Classic may be best known as the year of the Big Melt.
National Post-- Mild weather raises concerns for Winter Classic
Chicago Tribune-- Rain won't sink Winter Classic rink
Chicago Sun Times-- Rain, warming could alter plans