It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s just about time for the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. It barely feels like a year has passed since the last one but it’s almost here.
The baseball diamond for the Washington Nationals was converted into an outdoor hockey arena where the Washington Capitals will host the Chicago Blackhawks on January 1, 2015 beginning at 1pm ET. The game will be broadcast by NBC.
EPIX has been playing the “Road to the Winter Classic” to highlight all of the effort that has gone into the transformation but, if you just want a quick peek, this timelapse video will give you an idea of all the changes that have been made to host this event.
If you are in the area but are not attending the game, there are still things that you can do to get into the spirit. The NHL teamed up with the city of Washington, D.C. to create a free fan festival around the city. Spectator Plaza, presented by GEICO, will be held just outside of Nationals Park on game day.
The Fairgrounds – From 9 am – 1 pm ET will offer live musical performances, interactive hockey-themed attractions, prizes and giveaways; food and beverages; and retail tents with an extensive selection of officially-licensed 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic merchandise and collectibles. Attractions will include:
- The Bridgestone Experience: Will highlight the new Blizzak WS80 winter tire and allows fans to test their skills at virtual slap shot and the latest hockey video games. Visitors can also get a picture taken at the Bridgestone Penalty Box inside the stadium.
- GEICO NHL Fan Zone: Snap a shot with the GEICO Gecko, play pinball, show off your wrist shot and win free prizes.
- The Reebok-CCM Booth: Check out CCM’s three distinct stick lines: the CCM RIBCOR (ribbed shaft technology), CCM Tacks (improved accuracy due to its ATTACKFRAME) and the CCM RBZ Superfast (featuring the Taylormade Speed Pocket technology). CCM will also be providing gear so that fans can dress up as a Capitals or the Blackhawks player.
- Oscar Mayer Weiner: You know you want a free photo.
- Honda: Check out the redesigned Honda CR-V, Motor Trend’s 2015 Sport/Utility vehicle of the year. Fans can also win a trip to the 2015 NHL Awards in Las Vegas courtesy of Honda’s sweepstakes.
- Join the Enterprise CarShare membership-based program and create an instant highlight of your game-winning save on the slow motion video grab and take home an NHL Winter Classic keepsake.
- McDonalds: Keep an eye out for the Fry Truck which will be giving away free samples.
- MillerCoors: Fans can enjoy the full hockey experience inside the Molson Canadian Hockey House with interactive games, an 8-foot replica of an official NHL puck and ice-cold Molson Canadian beer available for purchase (must be 21 years and older).
- MillerCoors Responsibility: Add your name to the Responsibility Puck and pledge to never drive drunk. Fans will receive a souvenir photo and be entered to win an NHL prize pack when you make the pledge.
- York Heating and Air Conditioning: Participate in the York Hot Shot Challenge by testing your shooting skills against a goalie target. The booth will also include an exclusive 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic exhibit from the Hockey Hall of Fame. Participants will receive a York Foam Hockey Stick Hat, while supplies last.
- Upper Deck: Celebrate Upper Deck’s 25th Anniversary and star in your very own hockey trading card! .
- NHL GameCenter LIVE: Need to relax? Stop by this area and enjoy NHL GameCenter LIVE and NHL Vault on tablets, smartphones and Xbox One.
- NHL Network: One lucky winner (and a guest!) will win an “Ultimate Hockey Weekend” complete with a trip to a Toronto Maple Leafs game, the Hockey Hall of Fame and the set of NHL Tonight.
- Merchandise: Retail tents will be offering officially-licensed 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic merchandise and collectibles. Are you a Discover Card Member? Make sure you ask for your 10% discount!
- Ticketmaster: Practice taking some shots into an old washing machine and dryer at the Ticketmaster Target Practice Challenge.
- AMP: Get energized with a free sample of AMP Energy!
- Washington Capitals: Team alumni will be on hand to sign autographs throughout the morning. Fans can also try the slapshot cage, win autographed items and get their faces painted.
- Party Like It’s: This Ska cover band from D.C. will be playing a mix of current hits and classic songs beginning at 10 am.
- Charm City Cakes: Hockey fan (and Food Network star), Duff Goldman, will be bringing something sweet for spectators.